Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round ...

I hate days like this. The "inner me" wants to let someone else deal with the big decisions ... the "responsible adult" things of life. I just get settled into that whole paradigm and then reality smacks me and I remember, oh yeah, I am the responsible adult.

This simple fact should make all humanity very afraid.

I've made this well documented move to "The North Coast" of the United States better known as "The Great Lakes." In so doing I made many promises to my now distant family that dad and grandpa (both of those are little old me) will grab grandma (sorry, Debbie) and actively work at continuing to be very real and present parts of their lives. Ain't no way I'm going to let any grand child of mine grow up without knowing us all too well. (Out of the typical four grandparents I only knew one of them. My mom's mom lived until I was about 13. I have always kind of grieved never having had a grandfather. Therefore I will NOT allow that to happen to my kids kids. Nope. Not gonna happen.)

So over the past few days I've been taking stock of the situation and I realized that there was one very real threat to keeping my promise. Our "travel vehicle" was a 2004 Explorer with 91,000 miles on it. And it had this serious "THUNK" someplace in the drive train. So the question quickly became ... "would I allow Debbie to drive this vehicle the 375 miles to Chicago (Scott and Amanda) or the 530 miles to St. Louis (Kelli, Joe, Elle, Chris and Laura) without me?

Uhh. No.

So that is when I had to stop messing with the easy stuff, put on my big boy pants and do something. That means spending money and not having Debbie around to nod at me or shake her head when I do so. Well, the good news is that my totally rockin brother-in-law, Jim, (better known by me as "Skippy") works for Enterprise (he is the very capable manager of the huge rental branch at the St. Louis International Airport) and thus I get this nifty discount if I buy one of their used and hopefully very cared for rental cars. And that discount almost doubled over this particular holiday. So today I banged my head against the wall for about 5 hours as I cut a deal and kissed our beloved Explorer bye-bye. Alas, she has been replaced by a Burgundy Trail Blazer with a mere 12,000 miles on her. And she has raised white letters on her tires. Very cool. Debbie will be totally stylin in her. Of course, she hasn't actually SEEN this vehicle yet and so at the moment I'm hanging my spotless reputation and my own personal safety way out over the edge. (Sorry, honey.)

As my old friend Bill Shakespeare once wrote, "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?' What that means in auto replacement terms is ... ya gotta take your best shot. Should you just go on and worry about the safety of those riding inside because of the reliability ... or lack thereof ... of the vehicle in question, or should you "take arms" (aka: dollars) and do something about it? In the end I figured that if I lose the dollars I lose relatively little. If I lose a loved one I lose everything. Love trumps money every time.

I asked God for help on this particular issue. The question was simple. "Buy or don't buy?" After praying and listening and praying and listening I do believe He led me to a rather simple scripture. It's a part of Psalm 34 and it simply says this, "blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." What's that got to do with anything? It's really not tough to figure out.

Life throws hard decisions at us. So do this: Take refuge in God. Fear and love Him. Do that and you will lack nothing. He will take care of you. And when you have to make the tough call, do it with the best wisdom you can muster and then relax. Trust in your God. He will take care of the details.

I'm really glad about that. Left to my own devices I will fall flat every time. But I just love knowing that God checks my heart and when He finds it stayed on Him, He will honor my walk. He will bless my decisions.

Even when they make me queasy.


Michelle said...

You wrote:*Life throws hard decisions at us. So do this: Take refuge in God. Fear and love Him. Do that and you will lack nothing. He will take care of you. And when you have to make the tough call, do it with the best wisdom you can muster and then relax. Trust in your God. He will take care of the details.

Thank you, I too needed that today.
1) Make a decision, trust and let go.
God speed in your new trailblazer.

Nicole said...

I should have read this earlier today! Great post.

PS...we had a great car from Enterprise a few years ago...had to trade it for a minivan when our clan started to grow ;)

Anonymous said...

Ron - I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I can't begin to explain in a short comment how timely and meaningful your post is. I've been struggling so much with whether hubby and I have made the right choices in terms of some financial and life decisions, and feeling very afraid that it will all blow up. You've reminded me that we made the decisions with the right motives and the best information we had at the time, and that because we are His, God is on our side. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us in cyberland. Blessings!

Ron said...

Wow. I have to admit that I am shocked and very thrilled that God used my simple story to bring Him glory and to bring you peace.

Amd the best part is ... it's true, you know. God delights in blessing His children. Anybody who tells you otherwise really doesn't have a very firm understanding of biblical truth. That doesn't mean He always makes it easy on us. But He walks beside us in the tough just like He does in the easy.

I'm honored you all responded. You made my day. Week. Maybe month. :)