"Where is your book bag, Benjamin? -- it's time to do homework." Our nine-year old thought a moment, then exclaimed, "Yikes!!!" "What?" I asked. "I left it in the back of the taxi this afternoon" he exclaimed. "I threw it in the back so there'd be more room for Mom and Christopher." Trying to calm him, I said, "Well these things happen. Let's not get upset (yet). Let's wait and see."
It did appear to be a daunting situation. Everyday we use taxis to get around Baguio City, our home in Luzon, Northern Philippines. There are over 3,000 taxis that serve the city of 200,000. Most of them look alike -- a SUV-looking Toyota Tamaraw FX. To try and find the taxi would truly be like trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack (or "rice field," in our neck of the woods). To make matters worse, the book bag was full of notebooks and textbooks that Ben was studying for his end-of-semester exams. Besides this, there were a number of school library books that would need to be replaced. Especially from Ben's point of view, things were looking desperate.
At suppertime, we talked about the situation and agreed that the best thing to do was pray about it during our bedtime prayer time. We emphasized to Benjamin and his younger brother, Christopher (age 7), that Jesus wants to help us with all our concerns, whether great or small. When it came time for prayer, I asked Ben if he would pray tonight knowing that this experience would have more impact if HE prayed. He prayed for several other prayer concerns, and then came to the matter of the book bag -- "O Lord, would you work it out for my book bag to be returned. Could you remind the driver to look in the back where I put it." With this simple prayer said, the boys settled down to go to bed.
After doing several chores, Debbie and I went back to our bedroom and began talking. Suddenly, Debbie's eyes flashed toward the front door. "I think I hear something," she said. Peeping out the window, sure enough, it was the taxi driver pulling Ben's book bag from the back of his car. "I just found it as I finishing my shift. I was checking the luggage space and there it was! Sorry I've been delayed in getting it to you -- I know you must have been worried." With big smiles we told the driver, that our son had prayed just 30 minutes earlier that the driver would remember us and bring the book bag back! The driver listened in quiet amazement. As a gesture of appreciation, I extended my hand offering him 300 pesos (about $6 – the average daily wage of a taxi driver). At first he hesitated with reluctance as if to say, “I didn’t expect this.” But then we insisted, and finally he took the money saying, “This will pay my electric bill – it’s due tomorrow.”
The next morning, Benjamin also listened in quiet amazement. It seems that he had learned that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is also "Lord of the book bag."