Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Of Prayer and 4-Wheeling

This week, we had several opportunities to bear witness of the importance and power of prayer.  Whenever we teach this, I reflect on my own experiences with praying that have shaped my testimony.  I'd like to share one of these with you today; I call it: "Of Prayer and 4-Wheeling". 

 I was 16 years old, and we were camping up beautiful Logan canyon (yes, that is Logan canyon).  My dad had recently invested in a couple old used 4-wheelers, and since I'm the only boy in my family, between two sisters, I was the only candidate as his 4-wheeling buddy. (Note: 4-wheelers are also commonly known as ATV's, this is what they look like:)

 So we were sitting in camp, mid-afternoon or so, and my dad says, "Hey, wanna go riding up the canyon?"  I was like, "Sure."  And so our adventure began.
First, I would like to impress upon you at this point that we are already a pretty good distance up this canyon.  A half hour from the city, at least.  We take some dirt roads up a side canyon in my dad's truck, and eventually we come to a parking lot at the mouth of a trailhead.  We unload the 4-wheelers, and we head up the canyon. Now, refer back up to the picture of Logan canyon: it looked much like that, but this canyon was far narrower, between two steep mountain faces.  We start riding, and I'm following my dad. We finally come out the other end of the canyon about 20 minutes later or so, and we are IN the mountains. High wilderness.

 We continue to ride upward for an hour or so, and then we realize it's coming on late afternoon, and we have a way to get back home!  So we stop, enjoy the scenery for a moment, and work our way back down the mountain.  We get to the mouth of that canyon I mentioned earlier, which is the last leg back to the parking lot.  Dad decides to stop and chop some firewood off some dead trees off the road, we load it up, and get back on the ATV's.  Dad turns his on, and takes off, leaving dust swirling the cooling mountain air.

 At this point, I need to fill you in on a couple things:
A) I had only ridden a 4-wheeler a couple times before.
B) I have little to no mechanical experience.
 I get on my 4-wheeler and turn the key.
It doesn't start.
I panic.
I keep turning. Nothing is happening.  I decide that dad, surely, will notice my absence, and I would see him round that bend of trees up ahead, coming to save the day.  He didn't come. It was getting dark.  I did everything the instructions said to start your struggling ATV.  Nothing!
 And then a voice whispered in my head, "Say a prayer."
 I thought, "What if it doesn't work?? I've done everything I can! What if I don't get an answer?"
The voice was persistant, so I thought "what the heck", and got down on my knees in the middle of this dirt road.
 I finished, and got back on my 4-wheeler.
 I stared at the key. I reached out for the key. I held my breath...and turned the key.
 And nothing happened.
 I was like, "NO!"  In my frustration, I kicked the side, shifted up and down, and turned it again.
 It turned on.

My shout of elation still echoing down the canyon walls, I took off like a spider monkey.  I admit, I was probably driving a little recklessly in my haste to get out of these forboding mountain walls and return to my dad.  I had been driving for what seemed like a short time when I started to recognize my surroundings, and realize I was almost out.  I sped up.  As I was coming up on a bend, I received a prompting like I had never received before. It said,
I promptly did so, almost without thinking.  Not a second after, a huge truck came barreling around the corner, chock full of semi-sober college students, going at least twice as fast as I had been.
 In shock, I looked to the Heavens, and thanked my Father.  He had saved me, not once, but twice, in the span of 15 minutes.  I gingerly continued out on the road, and safely returned to my dad (who, by the way, had been sitting in the parking lot waiting for me. Yeah, helpful. :P)

I testify to you that Prayer Is Real.  No matter the situation, God hears us, loves us, and answers our prayers.  Be it getting a 4-wheeler to start, or for a loved one's health to return, or even pass a final, I know that our Savior is always listening.

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