Tuesday October 9, 2012:
I guess I had to ‘bite the bullet.’ I could no longer put off my car repairs.
My car has been running rough for a while and in an attempt to save the inevitable pain of paying a large repair bill, I pushed my car as far as it could go. Every day the thought would cross my mind, “Get the car fixed…get the car fixed”…and every day I would put it off. There were always other things to do that were a priority.
Today, compelled by these pestering thoughts, I gave in and made an appointment with my mechanic – Thursday would be the day!
Thursday October 11, 2012:
I woke up frustrated. I knew the auto repair bill would be large. It always is. I thought of calling to cancel my appointment, but at the last minute I relented.
I said my morning prayers – hoping that God would in some way help me out financially. I got up, showered, had my morning coffee and made my way to the mechanic.
My mechanic, at 7:30 a.m., was in a jovial mood, no doubt anticipating a great payday at my expense. Like a doctor, I went through a long list of symptoms that I wanted him to look at. With every new symptom I mentioned, I felt my wallet getting lighter and lighter. To add insult to injury, he suggested that I also let him conduct a semi-annual inspection and prep the car for a Canadian winter.
Dejected, I left the car in his capable hands and took the shuttle to work.
I sat at my desk nervously waiting for the inevitable call. At 9:15 a.m. it came.
“$1,100!” I screamed, “.. and four new tires?”
No use arguing. He was right. Deep down inside I knew I had let things go too far. I should have listened to that little voice telling me to have my car looked at months ago.
He told me I could pick up the car at 3:00 pm.
At 3:00 pm, on the dot, I was paying an auto repair bill that made my hands shake. I thought about buying a new car, but the math was not on my side. I drove my car home and sulked for most of the evening. I thought rather than continue to sulk I would grab my book and go to a local coffee shop and wind down.
As I sat there sipping my coffee and trying to read, I kept thinking about how much money I had spent earlier in the day and thinking of other commuting options. I concluded I had to stick to my car. After an hour I had barely managed to read several pages.
What a waste of time. I should just go home and sleep.
I got into my car and as I approached the vicinity of my apartment I braked in response to a red light – my brakes started to fail – I panicked but the car slowed down as I partially entered the intersection and stopped. With my heart racing, I slowly made my way to my apartment which was only about 50 feet from the light.
I was furious!
Friday October 12, 2012:
At 7:30 a.m., having had my car towed, I was at my mechanic screaming at him as to why he had not fixed the brakes. He claimed to have checked and they were fine.
I had no choice. I had to get them fixed and again relented to the inevitable – more expensive repairs!
In my office I prayed to God, wondering why he had not helped me. Why, after paying such an expensive bill yesterday, I had to pay more today.
“$250,” I yelled at my mechanic. Again, I made my way to the shop and felt my wallet breathe its last.
Saturday October 13, 2012:
I just finished a wonderful evening with friends and was driving home. I noticed that I was very low on gas and pulled into a gas station for a fill-up – almost $60! I could not get over how much I was spending on my car in a span of several days.
I hated my car, I hated my mechanic, I hated everything at that minute! I slowly made my way to the exit and pulled into traffic – and then everything happened.
As I exited the gas station another driver entered the same lane. I only saw him at the very last second, I slammed on my brakes and waited for the inevitable crash. He swerved and our cars slipped past each other. You couldn’t have placed a sheet paper between our cars.
But it wasn’t over. In order to avoid me, he crossed the center lane and went head-on into on-coming traffic coming in the opposite direction.
I watched helplessly. A third car trying to avoid a head-on collision slammed on the brakes as the previous driver now went into the next lane to avoid him and again into on-coming traffic.
He dodged another car.
This all happened in a span of seconds. Three lived spared in a span of several seconds.
We all pulled into the gas station that I had just left. I expected that we would all exit our cars and engage in a shouting match or worse.
The first driver that got out of the car came right at me and said, “Buddy, are you alright?”
He caught me off guard. “Yes. Are you?”
The third driver arrived and came toward us. He said the same thing: “Are you both alright”
We both nodded. After a short quiet moment, I said, “God has blessed us.”
They agreed, we shook hands, and we each drove off grateful for having our lives spared.
In a span of several seconds, three families could have been changed forever. I prayed while driving all the way home. When I got home I got down on my knees and prayed again thanking the Lord.
As I prayed, I thought about my constant complaining to the Lord that he was not helping me financially. It dawned on me that the Lord was busy helping me in a greater way.
At times in our lives, things happen that cause us to question not only ourselves but also the lives that we are leading. Things that we take for granted all of sudden become paramount. Things that we have left undone all of sudden come into focus and we realize that we cannot leave them undone.
Does God work in mysterious ways? I think so.
Copyright © 2012, Luciano Corbo