Some days unexpected stuff happens. Waking up to snow on May 14 would be one of those things I suppose. Who knew May needed mittens? I wonder sometimes about how we deal with the unexpected, how we dodge the snowballs thrown at us. Can we take it all in stride or do we stumble? I have had a crazy 48 hours or so and I am tired.
I drove to a town several hours North of here, cranking the tunes so that the fact that my car sounded like an airplane did not prevent me from continuing on. I prayed lots. My poor guardian angels were working overtime again. When I arrived the owner of the garage was happy to help, diagnosing in less than a minute my need for a new wheel bearing on the driver side. Trouble was the part needed to be ordered from my home city. I was staying overnight so I agreed to go ahead. The next day I woke up, dropped the car off, and was told it would be ready by noon. The lunch hour came and went…no car. I called the garage and was told there was a problem. The ring had broken when the bearing was removed and that part was also hours south and could only arrive the next morning.
Unfortunately I was supposed to be elsewhere by then. I began to rearrange my plans and let go of expectations. I spent the night in a hotel lost in the 1970s and miserable. I tried to keep a brave face but I hated canceling all my plans. The next morning I woke up and called the garage. The part was in and my car was ready. By the time I walked over there, that story had changed. A test drive showed that it was the passenger side that needed the new bearing. Did I stay another night or did I trust my life to God and recklessly drive back to the city in a car that could literally fall apart on the way back? I was torn but I decided to ask my guardian angels to work double time once again.
I had hoped for a leisurely drive home but it was stressful. I do not like to put God to the test. I do not like the thought of endangering my life and others. The owner of the garage was not pleased with my decision but he understood it. He was ashamed and embarrassed at the situation. I was trying hard not to get angry–or worse yet, cry. I could not afford to ruin my vehicle but staying did not seem like the right option either. I shook his hand and off I went. I drove back to the motel to pick up my belongings and as I turned into the entrance, a strange sound was heard. Back to the garage I went after I had packed everything up and told the receptionist to not clean my room right away as I might be back shortly. I calmly asked the owner if he had personally given the car a test drive because he had alluded to that. We both hopped into the car and he was glad I had returned. It would only take a few minutes to fix the problem. I was now really struggling to be kind and not to cry. Where were my mittens I thought as I trudged over to the mall for a break. Why do I even need mitts in May?
What do we do when unexpected things occur? Do we dig deep and find grace for the moment? I felt like I was failing this test. As I walked back to the garage, my car pulled up and the owner assured me it was all fixed–well, half fixed. He once again asked me to call when I arrived back home so he would know that I had arrived safely. I could see he was worried. I reached out, thanked him, and shook his hand. Something made me turn back before I got into my car. “Hey,” I called out. “I hope your day improves.” He sort of smiled and nodded. “You had a part in making it get better.”
Funny how sometimes we do not realize it is the things we do not do–like getting angry even when we have a right to or braving the cold when we could be cursing–that can make someone else’s day brighter.
What needs mittens in your life?