Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm Doug Dennis and I'm an Idiot!

The last two Mondays have been two that I would just as soon forget. Here is the account of the first Monday. The second Monday story will follow tomorrow. June 30th was moving day. What a day! As long as I can remember how tired and sore I felt the next morning I will never be tempted to move again. But my fatigue should have been expected and was the least significant event of this memorable day.

Being the person that I am, I had a plan for the day. Not much went according to the plan.
1st: I had reserved a U-Haul truck 3 weeks ahead and had checked with the dealer personally twice in the last four days before to insure that I would have a truck at 8:30 am. 8:30 am came and no truck! I had to go to the U-Haul center in Gastonia to get a truck and the packing started two hours late.
2nd: I thought I had Josh, Trey and two men from the church to help me pack. I had Trey and at least six men from the church to pack the truck (way to many to pack effectively).
3rd: I knew from multiple prior moves to turn the gas value off the grill before putting it on the truck but in our haste to finish forgot. I will come back to this detail later for this is the detail that makes this moving day memorable.
4th: I thought I had two friends planning on help Josh, Trey and I unload the truck in Archdale. Josh did arrive late but his car is having transmission trouble and he had no business driving to Archdale. So, Pam, Trey, Elizabeth and I made the trek toward Archdale with each of driving a vehicle. In route I learned that one of our two friends in Archdale would not be able to help but within five minutes got a call from a third friend and his wife were planning on helping us and the other original friend was bringing his son. PTL!!

Upon arrival in Archdale, I determined that I would need to angle the U-Haul truck up our steep driveway to keep the truck from bottoming out. It was during this angled climb that I think something moved inside the truck. Anyway, some how and some time near the end of the trip the gas control knob on the grill turned on and igniter switch was pressed so that the grill fire lit. When we opened the back door of the truck smoke came rolling out. I blistered my thumb getting the grill fire turned off but the damage had been done. Our coffee table that was close to the front of the grill had melted and warped. The freezer door that was against the back of the grill was severely blackened. Several plastic baskets near the grill were ruined. Soot was on everything near the back of the truck and a burnt plastic smell was in everything on the truck.

We spent several hours cleaning up that night and the next day. The smell is gradually lessening as we wash clothes, remove emptied boxes and the odor naturally dissipates. My loving wife was brought to tears as she reflected on what might have been (including the loss of all our belongings and maybe even my life).

Why did God allow me to forget to turn off the value to the gas tank on the grill? I had always remembered to do this on every other move! I am not sure but here are some possibilities:
1) To remind me that I need to be humbled from time to time. I now reference the title given to this story.
2) To remind everyone that He still is looking out for us, even when we do stupid things. This story could have had so much worse an ending.
3) To serve as a reminder of others to not make the same stupid mistake that I made, especially my children who will probably move many times in the future.
4) To help Pam and I to realize what the most important things are in our lives. Obviously it is not the “stuff”.
5) To serve as a powerful sermon illustration in my future ministry.
6) ??? (Only time will tell what other reasons God may have had!)

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