It Ain't Easy Bein' Me

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who Needs Craftsman?

It was in 1988 that my professional life took a nosedive. Having received two promotions in less than a year, I was upwardly mobile working with a small but fast growing company, for whom there seemed to be no limit. The future for both the company and me was as bright as it could be. I thought my financial future was made. It would only take a couple more growth spurts and promotions to be knocking out some major bucks. The 2nd promotion required a transfer, so we moved and bought a house. Life was good.

But life ain’t no fairy tale book, so you know things didn’t work out as I had scripted in my mind. The early part of the year, I was making about $30,000.00. That doesn’t really sound like much now, but that was almost 20 years ago and I was not that long out of high school. By the summer of that year, I was making less than $15,000.00. Now, remember, I just moved away from my “home” and bought a house in another city. I had become the victim of a corporate merger. Left behind because no one in a corporate office a thousand miles away cared what a good old boy, or how resourceful I was, or how outstanding my work ethic was. On paper, I was no longer needed. The bigger company of the merger had their own people, they didn’t need ours.

I had to downsize a lot of stuff. Praise the Lord, I still have that house, although my plan was to sell it after a couple of years and get a bigger one. So I’m not where I was hoping to be at this point in my life, but I’m a lot better off than a lot of folks, and I’m extremely thankful I was able to hold on to it during those years. I could have ended up without one.

I ended up driving a 1978 Ford Grenada. Now, it was a nice little work car. But since my financial woes, it became my primary vehicle. It started giving me some minor trouble. It had a three speed manual transmission, and every time I came to a stop, it would go dead. It was very annoying, and I didn’t have the money to get it fixed. One week, shortly after the trouble started, it seemed like every day I would hear some preacher or teacher, or I would read while doing my studies, about stewardship and the fact that everything in the universe belongs to our God. Everything. Every little thing. We own nothing…we’re only given stewardship over it for a short time (including our children, BTW Rather, ESPECIALLY our children).

Anyway, one day I pulled the car into the warehouse at work to have a coworker look over it with me. He was sort of a shade tree mechanic, and I thought surely that one of us could figure this out. It couldn’t have been anything too major. I was just hoping it was something loose…a vacuum hose, an idle screw needed adjusting. I just didn’t have money to get the carburetor rebuild, so I was hoping against hope it was something real simple like that. We took the breather off, inspected everything we could think of to inspect and could find nothing wrong. Put it back together and cranked it up, hoping that maybe something was loose and we got it tightened while we were checking things out, but the car died immediately. I looked at my friend and said, “Mike, it’s God’s car, if He wants it fixed, He’ll just have to fix it.” It sounds sort of like a smart aleck remark, but I didn’t mean it that way at all. That’s just where I was. I was at the end of my rope, and that’s all I knew to do. Turn it over to Him…it’s not mine, anyway.

I cranked the car again and backed it out of the bay. It died again, like it always did. But that was the last time. From that moment forward, I don’t think I ever had one ounce of trouble from the car. I know for a fact it didn’t give me that particular problem anymore. I’m convinced that He let the car die one more time after I told Mike what I did, just so I would be sure we didn’t do anything to fix it. I think He did that so I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He’s not only the Great Physician, He’s the Master Mechanic.

That car can represent anything to any of us. I know that whatever I have broken, He can and will fix when it’s time if I can and will just turn it over to Him. Please pray that I can turn my broken cars over to Him. I seem to be building a pretty impressive junkyard right now and I don’t have the means with which to fix them all.


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