For years I have felt that heaven would not have cars. After all, they have caused me many tears, and Scripture promises no tears in heaven. However, in this world, God uses vehicles to teach patience, trust, and stewardship. Somehow, the Lord figured I needed a refresher course this week.
I pulled out of our driveway in the 1997 Mercury Sable at 8 AM on Monday, bound for the homeschooling tutorial that meets in Severna Park. I planned to teach an 11:30 class about stewardship of abilities as it relates to post-high school career plans. With a 30-minute cushion and all materials in tow, I headed east bound. About an hour into the trip, I noticed that the battery light winked at me for a few seconds. Hmmm? What did that mean? Off went the heat, the radio, the headlights. Hi O Silver, away! The Silver Bullet Sable responded; off went the light. On with the cruise control and the rest of the trip.
Later, just outside Frederick, the RPM needle suddenly points to zero, but I’m still traveling at 60 MPH. WHAT is this? A little adventure ensues as I maneuver a couple of miles driving on the shoulder of the road at 40 MPH, but then my trusty steed gallops off at 65, keeping up with the rest of the horse power on I 70. Meanwhile, Dave’s making cell calls; a friend meets me at the garage where I leave the lame car, and the friend drives me to class; another friend takes me from class to her home for lunch. By 5:30, she has graciously invited me to spend the night and head back in the morning with the silver bullet, which, by the way, has been pronounced “Fine, Can’t find anything wrong!” The labor cost for the “non-repair” of my car is $95.00, but the old car has a clean bill of health.
My trusty steed turns over fine at 9 this morning, and I fill her tank with gas before turning west. I fill my lungs and begin to sing everything from praise choruses to Bach’s Cantata 140 — in German! Alas, in Frederick (What is it with this town?) the RPM needle nosedives, and the speedometer needle follows. Coasting to the side of the Interstate, all systems stop. Instead of singing, I’m on my dying cell phone with Dave, roadside assistance, Dave, roadside assistance, Dave….you get the idea.
Within 50 minutes the sad steed sits quietly atop the Jerr-Dan, and I have miraculously managed to climb (think Everest here!) into the cab of the truck. Within a few minutes I arrive at the repair shop Dave has located and checked out on the Internet. Next an employee from a car rental place close by picks me up and takes me to my next stop. A few more calls to Dave, insurance company, Dave… Deja-vue. I’ve seen this pattern earlier today. After a few “sign here, initial here,” repeats, I hold the key to a little Hyundai. “Sorry, m’am. This is the only car we have available.” Somewhere in the befuddled recesses of my mind, echos “Mountains! I live in the mountains of Western Maryland, and this little pony can really get me home?”
However, miniature horse, lean and light, did hoof it over the mountains, and I arrived home shortly after 2:30. My thanks rose as I realized the protection the Lord had given me. We will now get another lesson in trust and stewardship as we face the repair bill (alternator and battery cell) and pray for wisdom about replacing the 12-year-old Sable. I learned yet another lesson in patience from the experience, and more patience will be needed as we process the possible car-buying issue.
My husband, not wanting me to have had a completely bad day, had a surprise waiting for me when I got home. He had washed all the windows here at the cabin! Washed windows? What a man!