Last week we had an oil crisis in parts of Alabama. That was not our first; probably won’t be our last, and it certainly was not our worst. Thankfully, it didn’t last long. When I pulled up to the gas pumps where I normally buy gas, I saw yellow plastic bags over the pump handles. I drove around to the other side and saw more of the same. They were completely out of gas. I was reminded of several other oil crises through the years.
In my mind I went back to 1973, my senior year in high school. That was the year we had the first oil crisis. The members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) proclaimed an oil embargo. By the end of the embargo a few months later, the price of oil had tripled and gasoline at the pumps had jumped up drastically. Gas stations ran out and began rationing fuel. If your tag number ended in an odd number you could only buy gas on odd days. A lot of odd people ran out of gas on even days, and vice-versa. Car lines at stations were backed up to the street. It looked like Saturday BBQ lines on game day when you can buy one chipped pork sandwich and get a second one for free. The only difference was there was nothing for free. Gas prices soared over the next few months. That was called the “first oil shock.” It was followed by the “second oil shock” in 1979. That one was caused by decreased oil output brought on by the Iranian Revolution.
Through the years I’ve had a few oil shocks, or crises, of my own. A few years back that was caused when the price of fuel at the pumps shot up to over $4.00 per gallon. Some gas stations offered bank financing at the pump so you could set up your fill up on installments. No, not really, but they almost needed to do so.
The first few cars I owned drank gas and guzzled oil. They either leaked it or burned it. I wondered if they had two cycle engines. I used to pull into to those full service gas stations and ask the attendant to fill up the oil and give me a dollar’s worth of gas. If you are under the age of thirty five, ask your parents what full service gas stations were, and yes, we actually used to buy one dollar’s worth but that bought three gallons of gas back then. Another fuel crisis I had back then was running out of gas. That was brought on by two things. One was buying gas a dollar’s worth at a time, but more than that was the fact that my fuel gauge didn’t work. I traded for an old ’57 Chevy. I fixed that thing up as much as you can fix one up when you don’t have pockets filled with money. There were a few non-essential items that I let slide. The gas gauge was one of those. After I put in my gas, I guessed how far I could go before I was walking. I got plenty of exercise because I didn’t guess well!
I have had much more serious crises since those years. You probably have had some of your own. There is one thing I have learned - even when everything else runs low there is never a shortage on God’s love. We may not have much of anything else but we can always count on Him. His love never runs out!