Recently, I was able to spend a weekend with a man who has been a “father figure” in my life. His name is Milt Travis, he lives in Rome, Georgia and is a legendary high school basketball coach. I lived in Rome from fourth to eighth grade (1988-1992) and became childhood friends with Coach Travis’ sons Josh and Jacob. I would spend many afternoons in the gym or at his house playing and competing. The lessons learned there would be a whole new article and one I hope to write in the future. When I moved, we always stayed in touch and have connected throughout my entire journey. Coach has always poured wisdom, love, and truth into my life. We were recently talking about trusting God’s plan and Coach always has the ability to teach you a lesson off of a personal story. So today, I want to share a Milt Travis parable with you… The story goes like this:
Adam, it was 1984 and I was 28 years old and Angie (Coach’s Wife) was 25. We were a young couple that had 3 kids of the ages 5, 4, and 6 months old. We had no money but wanted to provide a vacation or a great experience for our family. I was approached about taking our family to an FCA camp in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The camp would be a week-long get away and perfect for us. However, I knew that we could not afford to take our family; so we applied for a scholarship to attend but were put on a waiting list. We waited and waited but did not hear the news that we could go. Me and Angie even packed our bags with the hope and anticipation of the acceptance phone call.
Well, about 5:30 pm on the first day of camp, someone dropped out and we received a call to come to North Carolina. The trip would be about 4 hours, so we got everyone together to leave and headed to the car about 6:30. At the time our family vehicle was a Kentucky Blue 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. A car that was 17 years old, and was worn with character through countless miles. Our family piled in and began the drive toward the North Carolina Mountains. Four hours later we found ourselves in a dark mountainous area with no one is proximity. I began to hear a funny sound in the back of the car and all of a sudden the engine stopped running. As the car slowed down, I tried to control my outward emotion and coast the car off into the side road gravel. Soon I discovered that my battery had fallen through the floor board of the car. The battery was located underneath the back passenger side seat and over time the battery acid had ate its way through the metal. Come to find out this was common place in old Volkswagen Beetles.
I was in a bad predicament, there were no cell phones, no AAA service, gas stations, or anyone in miles. I had a wife and 3 young children late at night on a dark mountain road. I went outside of the car searching to find anything to cover the hole in the floorboard. This would allow me to put the battery back in place. I contemplated to just flip the seat up and put the battery in the floor. However, then I would have no room for the kids. In the pitch black dark, I searched around the car, then up and down the road for any object that would work. I eventually just stood on the gravel beside the car and looked through the window at my young family. My heart and mind were racing, I had to have an answer? I had to get them there? We could not have come this far to be abandoned in the mountains? Miraculously no one was crying yet in the car, but I was crying on the inside. I was the man of the house and had no answers but had to come through for them.
As the pressure continued to build, I decided to just bow my head and pray. I asked God “To please provide me an answer.” When I raised my head and opened my eyes… I was staring right at the rear hub cap. God had placed an answer right in front of my face . So I popped off the hubcap and went to place it over the rusted out hole in the back floorboard. The amazing thing is that it fit the hole exactly with no room to spare. I sat the battery on top of that hubcap, started the car and drove to Black Mountain. God had again provided in the most peculiar way, when I needed him the most. Our family had a great week and that night on that dark road taught me a great lesson….
- When good things are coming, you will face obstacles and resistance. No-one ever stops someone shooting at the wrong goal or running toward the wrong end-zone. Obstacles are a sign that you are going in the right direction if you do not give up. Stay the course when God places something on your heart.
- God always provides… Not more than you need but exactly what you need. We have to seek him and be obedient for his plan to unfold. As much as I would like to take credit for it, the hubcap was not creativity on my part. God gave me the hub cap when I needed it the most. God is always there, not just when we think he is all we have left.
- Never forget your hubcaps, because that is proof that he has always been there for you and will continue to be there for you. We all have “Hubcap Moments” to some degree that could represent people or events throughout our lives. The fact is that God will always provide and work all situations for his good through those called to his purpose. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:12-13
Coach Travis told me, that the hub cap held that battery until the day he sold it. The car was already missing one, so he put the remaining two on the front two tires. If you are wondering, yes, Coach did disclose the hubcap to the buyer for a nice discount. More importantly, Coach gave me this valuable lesson that I am passing on to you today. Coach has been a “Hubcap” in my life and has helped fill a void exactly the way God planned. There are so many moments that are living proof that God is in complete control as long as I follow him. So I encourage you to stay the course, know that God will provide exactly what you need, and that he will never leave you!
Thank you Coach Travis…
I Love you, Adam