“It’s metal on metal,” my husband declared. “The brakes need to be done today. It’s no longer safe at all to drive that car the way it is.”
“I don’t know what to tell you. The brakes are shot.”
“My books. We have to get my books on hold at the library. Oh, it just has to work out for me to get my books today,” my daughter chimes in.
All our carefully laid plans for the day, are out the window. Plan #1…uncheck.
Plan #2: We pack up our school stuff, planning to spend the morning at the car dealership.
“I need to leave my car here to have the brakes replaced and my goal is to be out of here by 3:00 this afternoon, ” I state with all authority.
“Well, we can’t get to it for an hour and then we can see what all needs to be done to it. Then we will let you know what time it will be done. In the meantime, Bob, our shuttle driver would be happy to give you a ride home and we’ll call you to tell you what we find and give you an estimate,” the kind man replies. Plan #2…uncheck.
Plan #3: Bob gives us a ride home, where we will do our school work as usual today.
“Girls, go ahead and get your math books out.”
Rustling around, papers being shuffled, grumbling voices. “Uh, mom, I think you may have done something with our books.”
Blank, crazed look back at the girls. I rack the inner recesses of my uncaffeinated brain. Books? Where in the world are the books? Back up to Plan 2…oh yeah, they were all packed up into the car to take to the dealership, where we were going to do be doing school for the morning. Poor, neglected books, sitting unused in the back of my car at the dealership. Plan #3…uncheck.
Plan #4: Math games at home, art, walk outside for exercise, and reading.
20 minutes into Multiplication War, my phone rings. “Hello?”
“Hi, this is Larry, from Marysville Ford. We took a look at your car and you need a full set of rear brakes. You will likely need front brakes in about 6 months. Oh, and the check engine light you mentioned? Yeah, we are going to need to order the necessary part.”
The rest of the conversation is a bit of a blur. Huge, amazingly large numbers being thrown out for replacing the brakes and an even huger, amazingly ridiculous number tossed out to replace the part causing the engine light to come on.
“I will have to call my husband and get back to you.”
“I am sorry,” my husband says, “we just don’t have that kind of money. Please call them back and explain that to them. And, then you may need to call around and see about a better price.” Plan #4…uncheck.
Plan #5: Have shuttle driver pick us up at home, bring us back to dealership to pick up our car, take car to Les Schwab (where the price quoted was about half of what the dealership quoted), shuttle ride home from there and wait for our ride to church later to participate in our outreach opportunity.
Whew. Not one thing I planned today went as I had planned it.
A couple of weeks ago, when we were heading out to do outreach work for the Lord, my car would not start. Now, today, I have no brakes and thus no car to use. Coincident? No. These stumbling blocks and changes in plans are not coincidence. The enemy would love for us to stay home. To hang our heads in defeat and say, “I guess we were just meant to stay home today.”
A couple of weeks ago, when my car wouldn’t start, I reached out to our church through Facebook. Sandy said, she just happened to check Facebook at that moment and quickly responded with, “I can come pick you guys up!” 20 minutes later, she was at our door, picking us up, delivering us to the church not a minute late for the outreach.
So, today, I recognized the enemies attempt to foil the Lord’s plan for outreach immediately. Again, I posted our request on Facebook, and even before securing shuttle rides to and from car repair places, I secured our ride for the outreach. The Lord immediately provided our ride and my mind was at ease.
It was tempting to see the middle part of our day as sort of a wash. No math instruction, no science, no history, no reading, no writing. Running around place to place just to get a car fixed.
But, then the Lord brought to mind ALL of the many people we interacted with today. If my Plan #1 had taken place, I never would have interacted with:
- The service department man who read a portion of my daughter’s Bible study lesson along with her. Did that spark a remembrance of a time when he sought the Word for wisdom?
- The shuttle driver who heard my daughter reading her Bible memory verse aloud. Did the power of God’s truth resonate in his soul as she said the words?
- The 2nd shuttle driver who told us her adoption story and then heard our adoption story. Was she reminded of the beauty and sovereignty of God through hearing our story? And, were my girls touched by hearing her tell them, “they were chosen by their parents”?
I imagine little seeds dropped about to people that we may have never come in contact with had our plans not been disrupted.
Although I believe the enemy tried to derail us today, the Lord prevailed.