Monday, January 11, 2010

Celebrating the Silver Lining

Three years ago
I wrote one of the biggest checks of my life when I purchased a new vehicle. This was a first for me. Previous to this state of ownership I had begged and borrowed vehicles for days, weeks, or months at a time, reimbursing the owners for their generosity.

Did I say the vehicle was new?

This lovely Ford Contour was actually manufactured in 1998, and had already been driven 140,000 miles. Both rear doors squeak loudly when opened, and while this problem could probably be fixed rather painlessly with a little WD-40, we aren’t regularly using the back seat, and thus just suffer through the noise.

When the previous owner (a good friend) offered us the vehicle, we knew he was ditching it for its lack of reliability. He was moving 200 miles away, knew he’d be making the trip back home frequently, and didn’t want to be stranded on any major Ohio highway.

Why did we take the car?

Well, I needed it for my commute to school everyday, which is all of three miles. The car does occasionally make longer treks to exciting places like church, or to visit my sister, by I think the poor sheltered vehicle has maybe left the state once.

In the past three years, the seller of this vehicle (and his wife, who was all too familiar with its—can we say endearing?—quirks) has been amazed by the luck we’ve had with it. We have had to take it in two times in three years for problems, most of which have been fairly reasonable, and at convenient times. I have never been stranded by the side of the road, only in my driveway.


The past three years of our lives have been nothing short of overwhelming. Between my job, and his medical school, and my masters degree we have been busy and poor. We live simply and save often.

Excess to us means going out to the cheap Mexican restaurant down the street to share an order of fajitas. This is justified because we can get an entire second meal out of our leftovers adding only a couple tortillas and a can of refried beans.

While running outside the other day Curtis and I were talking about what it would be like to have money. It was then that I told him my theory about the Contour, and our other tangible possessions:

“ I think everything is going to fall apart as soon as we have money.”
“I think that this is God’s provision in our lives. We haven’t landed any windfalls of cash or won any brand new cars, but everything we have has held together. We have been healthy. Our cars (against all odds) work. And we get by.”
“Interesting. It does never cease to amaze me how the Contour has held together.”
“If it happens, I called it.”
“Fair enough.”


Last week the Contour broke down in the driveway once again. Since it’s a new year, I suppose we’re due. Then yesterday, our other car’s muffler started making an awful noise, and we’re pretty sure that’s going to need some TLC this week as well.

And that’s when I amended my theory.

While we have (just) enough money to work with these current issues, what we currently have in (unusual) abundance is time. Both vehicles having problems within a week—coincidence?

I could never believe it.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you see the tender mercies of the Lord through 2 broken cars. I agree, and I think the more we look for silver lining, the easier it is to see God's hand in our lives.