I would have expected two men in a police car.
Or maybe two men in two separate police cars. But, nope, that’s not what they sent.
They sent an entire fire truck complete with firefighters. It wasn’t just one firefighter by the way. Not even two or three. There were six of them.
By now, the “smoke” coming out of my engine had mellowed into a gentle mist.
I walked over to the car with the firefighters and they confirmed what my mechanic had already told me. The crack in my engine had completed its job and the engine was officially dead.
The “smoke” was just vapor from engine oil mixing with something else under the hood.
With this car gone, I knew I would need a new one. I just didn’t know how I would buy it because two things were standing in the way.
For starters, I was broke.
I’m not even sure I had up to $300 in my bank account. On top of that, I had a case of what you might call a car buying phobia.
As a young child, I had one too many experiences with my parents’ cars breaking down on the side of the road. Sometimes, it was because the engine was too hot and needed to rest. Sometimes, it was because it was Wednesday and the car didn’t feel like moving.
This caused me to develop a very real fear of buying cars. Would I pay too much? Would the brakes be bad? Would I buy a car that would stop on the road without warning?
I had all these worries tumbling through my brain the entire taxi ride home that day. Little did I know that, in the end, I would wind up owning the most priceless car on earth.
Isn’t it funny how life sometimes conspires to bring good things to us? And while life is trying to bring us these good things, we fret, we complain, and sometimes we even cry…like little clowns.
At least that’s what I spent the entire evening doing when I got home.
I cried like a clown about not having money.
I cried about not having the skills to buy a car.
Since I was already crying, I also took the opportunity to cry about everything else that wasn’t going right in my life.
Eventually, I ran out of things to cry about. So far, worrying hadn’t helped and crying hadn’t changed anything. Then I had a funny idea. I thought – hey! What if I didn’t just cry?
What if I cried and prayed at the same time? I know. I’m a genius…
It’s funny when I think about it now and I don’t remember what I said when I got on my knees to pray that night. All I know is that strange things started to happen.
Immediately I finished praying, I had a thought.
It was very simple. The thought was that I should go on Craig’s List and pick out any car that I liked. I wouldn’t worry about the price or anything.
It seemed like a fairly harmless idea, so I did it.
I was getting ready to close my laptop when I had a second thought.
It was also very simple.
The second thought was that I should contact the seller to express interest in buying the car.
Now, this didn’t make any sense since I didn’t have any money and didn’t know anything about buying cars. But as you might understand, desperate times call for desperate measures.
I fired up my Yahoo! Mail (Yes, I still use Yahoo!) and sent a note out to the seller.
The third thing that came to me wasn’t a thought at all.
It was sheer panic.
The seller had emailed me back almost right away saying that if I wanted the car I needed to come the next day. Somebody else had already expressed interest and might be buying it.
I ignored the common sense that told me to bow out of the situation gracefully.
The next morning, I showed up with the Pastor from a church I had visited a few weeks prior.
After much testing driving and marching around the car as if it were the walls of Jericho, it was finally time to talk money (or the lack thereof)…Continue to Conclusion
- How badly did the conversation go?
- Did the Pastor help?
- What did I learn from all of this?