Monday, October 9, 2017

Unexpected Insights

Trust in the the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6  

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24  

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3 

Recently my car situation has been in limbo.  This has changed everything about my ability to run errands, get to work, and feel independent.  Facing this has made me reconsider how much I can "make do" with what I have.  This reminds me how creative my brain can be, and I rejoice at its wonders.

At the end of the summer, one of my cars became disabled, and I was trying to donate it; but I could not find the title in all my moving boxes.  It was amazing to me to see how much I had accumulated, and how difficult it was to organize. I saw how debilitating this can become.  I also found a lot of forgotten treasures which are so much more valuable than a certified document.

The search process had been lengthy and fruitless, and eventually I had to procure a duplicate title.   Cleaning out the car was a burdensome chore, because there were still vestiges of a trip to Rochester, Minnesota last year when my daughter and I stayed for two months (during which she received her fourth liver transplant). But I realized as I was lugging bags of pillows and umbrellas and scrapers and a shovel and all sorts of human necessities that I need to challenge myself in order to be more resilient.  I patted myself on the back as I rested after that chore, and looked forward to the next bit of discomfort that would help me grow.

On the appointed day for pickup the tow truck did not show.  So I still had to plan for uncertainties.  And that can be rather freeing.  How much does it really matter? Why should I invest too much dependence on things going as planned?

The back-up car needed work in order to be driveable after the first one tanked. The AAA tow truck driver delivered it to a repair place that was different from the one where I had made an appointment.  At the end of the day, I called the repair shop only to be told that my car wasn't there.  So AAA and I had to call and search a number of nearby places to see if my car had ended up there, since the tow truck driver couldn't be reached.  These things can happen, and it makes for more work but it also makes for a good story.  Also, the place where my car ended up did a good job of fixing it, and I had it back in no time. I was glad to find a reliable repair place that was within my budget.

In the ensuing month, the back-up car developed more issues. One of them involved tail lights staying on, and the battery drained.  AAA gave me a battery boost and told me to drive directly to the repair place; I managed to find a place open on Sunday, so I felt pretty lucky.  But they couldn't actually work on the car until Monday.  I hadn't really accomplished what I felt I had needed to do.  But the right things happened, only a day later than I had hoped.

During this time I was relying on my daughter for trips to and from work.  It was nice to have time to talk with her, and I enjoyed looking out the window at the sights I often miss while focusing on driving.  I was able to sip coffee and nibble on snacks.

Then more issues arose with the car, and because there was a risk of the engine overheating I was told I shouldn't drive it.  At this point, I realized that my '92 Geo Prizm might not be worth the $600 it would probably cost to fix it.  I have had to restructure my thinking about continuing to maintain something that doesn't really serve its purpose.  The car has no airbags, and doesn't travel well over 45 mph.  It doesn't really need my allegiance, even though it reminds me of my mother, from whom I inherited it. 

So now I am looking into buying a reliable car.  My recently-retired friend has been chauffering me, and we have had jolly drives reconnecting.  When we were in high school, she used to come pick me up and drive me to school.  I am reminded of how much I enjoy starting the day with her. She is such a light in my life, and I love being cared for by someone so generous and fun.  We always have lots of chances to laugh on the drive, and it is an uplifting way to start and end my day. 

Even something as mundane as our transport away from home and back again can reveal something as great as God's presence.  I look forward to more road trips with surprises.

Prayer: Thank you for creating my hands, and continuing to hold them.  Thank you for giving me eyes, and fresh sights to amaze them.  Thank you for interrupting my steps to show me something new about your world and the life you have given me.  Learning new things keeps me alive and present, and newly aware of your grace.  Let my inconveniences move me closer to you.  Amen.

Mollie Manner

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