In January, the day right after the hike in fuel prices, I had to push a car into a petrol station.  It was not my first time pushing a car but definitely my first pushing one in the middle of the road. Right after church I entered into the car with a few others just as always. I even made a comment about how worn out the car looked just to tease some response from my brother who happened to own the Hyundai Galloper II we were going to ride in. After barely five minutes ride, the car just died in the middle of the road. We noticed it was due to petrol shortage and so we had to alight and push the car to a nearby station. There was no gallon available so we didn’t have the option to dash to the fuel station and get the fuel. The push was no easy matter. I along with all the others were sweating profusely and were evidently tired by the time the car finally pulled beside the fuel pump.

I drew a couple of lessons from this ordeal.

Appreciation is important. Don’t overlook it.

It’s so easy to overlook/ fail to appreciate our situations/people/blessings etc… I had gotten so used to being carried in the car every day that I saw it as normal. I didn’t think there was much to appreciate or be thankful for. I described the car as old, battered, not sleek enough. Until I got to “carry” it for a change I didn’t appreciate its purpose and work. Now, when I enter into the car and get home without event, I’m thankful.

You can’t be too sure; there is nothing wrong with double checking

When we realized the reason the car died, my brother informed us that he had bought the same amount of fuel he buys every day. He knew that amount was sufficient for the whole day so he didn’t bother to check the fuel gauge (which was faulty anyway). If he had done, he would have realized the shortage and maybe would have remembered the hike in the prices of fuel and we could have avoided the whole incident. His knowledge of his car fuel consumption was rendered insufficient in the situation.

Pray for the people ahead of you.

We shouldn’t get so consumed with our own success and with overtaking the others ahead of us that we forget to pray for them. We must not envy them but rather celebrate them and pray for their progress. When our car died in the middle of the road, the cars coming behind us and even those coming on the other lane had to slow down to match our progress. It took them a while, longer to overtake us than it would have taken them if we were moving okay….some even couldn’t. Don’t wish those ahead breakdown cos you may just end up stuck behind them.

 Run light; it’s easier.

I could have easily walked the same distance we pushed the car in less than ten minutes instead of the twenty minutes plus it took to push the Galloper. I wouldn’t have even broken a sweat. My load made so much difference so it’s better to drop every unnecessary baggage on our journey. Free of loads we get places faster and easier.

Sometimes it takes a team.

I’m usually a loner, but I acknowledged to myself how difficult and perhaps  impossible it would have been supposing I was the only one available to push that car all the way to the fuel station on that day. Being in a team doesn’t mean an inability but sometimes it’s the only way things can be done better.

We have different capacities.

Among the five people pushing the car (myself including) I noticed that we all didn’t have the same amount of strength. Some were stronger than I was and I was stronger than others. Some of us had to take a little break and others didn’t. It didn’t mean the others were not as important as the very strong ones. It just meant we had different capacities and capabilities. We can’t all operate on the exact measure because we are individuals, unique and different from one another.

We need a push sometimes.

I never would have known for sure that I was capable of pushing a galloper across that stretch until the need arose. I had no choice in the matter and this was the push I needed to reach into myself to pull out strength to execute the task before me. My younger sister who had never driven a manual car can now boast of handling one. Don’t get frustrated at challenges, they have a way of propelling us to higher heights.

From another angle, we all need help sometimes. The car needed help to get to the fuel station cos there was no easier way there at that particular time. Asking for a hand doesn’t mean you are weak it means you are wise enough to recognize your need.

………I can’t say the incident was all bad, no matter how unpleasant it was while it lasted, because among other things it reminded of of the above.


You learn something everyday if you pay attention.

Ray LeBlond