Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When Things Come Together

Cougar front viewSo, I mentioned a few days ago that we bought a new car. Okay, it’s an old car, a 1997 to be exact, but it’s new to us, and aside from moving into a new home, getting a new car is probably one of the more exciting moments in a person’s life. We were especially excited about this one because it’s such a beautiful car and the owner wasn’t asking an unreasonable amount of money for it, as many people do when selling their old car.

Joni and I have been together for 11 years now and we’ve always just had one car, my ’99 Explorer. That wasn’t so bad because for the first few years my job wasn’t far from home, only 7 miles, and I could be home in a few minutes if something came up. Then for the last couple of years that I worked for UPS I couldn’t drive because of my failing eyesight and Joni dropped me off and took the truck back home. Then I didn’t work at all for about 4 years and we had no need for a second car. But last September, when I started working at Walmart, it started to bother me a little going off to work in Kearney and leaving Joni out here on the farm 17 miles away with nothing. But we knew we couldn’t buy another car so we just made do and luckily there were no emergencies.

Cougar rear viewWorking in the Walmart parking lot, I naturally see lots of cars every day, and some of them have for sale signs in their windows. I would typically give them a glance and walk on by. They were always too new and therefore too expensive, or old junkers that their owners thought were worth a lot of money. Up until August 6th, that is.

On that fateful day I walked by another car with a for sale sign in the window. On this particular occasion I actually stopped to look twice because it was a really nice looking car, and on that second look I saw that the owner had put a price of $1600 on the sign. Now, even a price of $500 would have been too much for me, but I thought that $1600 wouldn’t be a great deal to borrow as opposed to four or five thousand. So the wheels started turning in my head.

Cougar 30th Anniversary emblemIn my previous post I already talked about how I borrowed the money and had my brother look at the car and everything, so I won’t go into that again. Instead, I wanted to talk a little about the greater forces at play here. Some might call it coincidence, or serendipity, but I prefer to think of it as God at work. One of my favorite bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11 where it says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. If we put our trust in the Lord, He will always provide for our basic needs but I also believe that, on occasion, He will provide us with something that we want, as long as it doesn’t go against His plans for us.

Cougar interior viewNow, let me explain a little bit about how my job works. I’m one of those guys that rounds up shopping carts from the parking lot and brings them back up to the store. Our parking lot has 12 rows that you can park in. The parking lot is divided in half and as cart pushers we work one side or the other. In other words, if the owner of this car had parked on the other side of the lot that day, I would never have seen it. Let’s take it a step further. On August 8th, I was working the south side of the lot, covering rows 5, 6, and 7. One of my coworkers was covering 3 and 4 that day, and rows 1 and 2 don’t really get any carts in them. That man had to park in one of those 3 rows for me to see his car. Also, I only worked a 5 hour shift that day, from 2pm to 7pm, so he had to come during that time. And if he had come during my break, I would have missed him. But as things worked out, he and I both were in the right place at the right time.

Before I bought this car, I really wanted my brother to look at it since he used to be a mechanic. No small task that, because he and I both work and we both have odd days off. I had no idea if there would be any way to coordinate our days off so that we could get together on this. But every detail was already worked out in advance. I saw the car on a Tuesday and, as it turned out, my brother and I both had the day off on Thursday. Also, my brother lives in Axtel, a 20 or 25 mile drive from Kearney and I didn’t know if the owner would be okay with me taking it all the way Axtel to get it checked out. But he had no problem with that at all; he was a very kind and friendly man of 70 years.

Cougar leather seats On the day we went to the man’s house to look at the car, we noticed right away that the $1600 signs had been changed for $1400 ones, another good portent. And after we got back from Axtel and told him we wanted the car, he agreed to take $1300 for it. A savings of $300, which exactly covered the brake work it needed. I got that brake work done on Saturday, by the way, there’s a shop right next to Walmart where I could drop it off and walk over to work. The whole process just worked out very neatly. Call if coincidence if you want, but I know better. The whole thing brings to mind October of 2011, when after years of waiting, everything suddenly came together and I got the surgery that restored my eyesight.

It really is an amazing thing to see God at work like that. I’m sure that, like me, you’ve tried to do things in the past that no matter how hard you tried it just didn’t seem to work out. And then to see how easily God can put something together, it’s just mind-boggling.

Does God care if we have two cars or one? I don’t really know, but this has been a powerful reminder to me of God’s omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. A reminder that we all need from time to time I suppose. And thanks for the car, God, we’ll take good care of it.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. ESV

Psalms 139:7-8 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. ESV

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