This Always Happens to Me!
We all know the situation: God wants one thing, we want another. We fight to keep what we want. God closes all possible doors. We try to open the closed doors. The doors don't budge. Finally, we give up and later we realize what God wanted was better anyhow.
This scenario can apply to almost any situation in our lives. Some people learn the first time to simply give up what they want. And then there's me.
Here's the latest story:
For the last couple of years, I've been driving a 1990 Mazda Protege that a dear friend blessed me with. Its always been a great car - starts every time, very little mechanical problems (even with 201,000 miles on it!), zippy and fun. I love it!
My husband has two GMC Safari vans. He would call them "trucks," which, I guess, technically they might be. He uses one of them for his construction business and the other has just been sitting out in front of our house for the last couple of months.
A while ago he approached me about selling my car and making the second "truck" my primary vehicle. Now, I don't consider myself an especially prideful person in the car department - I've been driving junkers for years and have been perfectly content. But there's just something about being the "Astro Van Girl" that made me feel weird. I guess 5 kids and 2 dogs down the road, a big van would be great! But I'm 23, and there's just something about driving a big van that makes me feel...I don't know...dorky, I guess. It didn't matter that the van is 7 years newer than my Protege, that it has a CD player, heat, air conditioning, leather interior, or anything else that my little car doesn't have. I didn't want to drive it.
Obviously, that's pure pride (and I knew it), so I didn't explain it to JP that way. I told him I was more of a "small car person" and that I "didn't feel comfortable" in the big van. I didn't tell him I was embarrassed to be driving the "grocery getter." Instead, I gave him good reasons (not excuses, of course) why a small car would be the more economical, wise choice for me. Besides, my car had been running great and had years left in it.
I almost had him convinced (or so I thought).
The very next day as I was driving along the highway, I heard a loud *Clunk!* beneath my car. At that same moment the "charge battery" light came on, the power steering went out, and my little car started overheating. I pulled into a Super America parking lot and called my husband, who came directly to my rescue.
When he got there, he just smiled at me with this "I told you so" laughish grin on his face. Right then and there I knew that he was onto me the whole time. Darn that gift of discernment!
By the time we got my car home, it was smoking like crazy and dripping a foul-scented green goo all over our driveway. Turns out I busted some sort of main belt and now - you guessed it - I'm driving the van. It's really not so bad. I have to admit it was nice to have heat on this chilly October morning, and while being up so high in the air will take some getting used to, it does provide a sense of security.
So what's the point to this long-winded story? The Word says that "pride comes before destruction." In this case, my pride came before humiliation! I wonder how long it would have taken me to swallow my pride (and realize how much of a better vehicle the van is) if my car hadn't broken down. I would have driven that little Protege to the ground. I would have learned that I can manipulate to get my way...and would have been worse off for it. Praise God that whenever I try to get my way, He's faithful to slam on the brakes and remind me that I don't just get to do whatever I want.
I hope I've really learned it this time. I'm pretty sure this is the bazillionth time that God's tried to teach me this lesson, and every time I'm sure "I got it." Thank God he's only used small situations up to this point and not anything more serious. I can learn my lesson now or wait until a loved one is in the hospital or I'm in a wheelchair or something equally as dramatic gets my attention.
I think I'll choose to learn now. How about you?