Friday, January 19, 2007


No, this is not some spiritual post on how we ought never complain. Wish it were. What is the point, though, of something bad happening to you if you can't blog about it?

When I bought my car two years ago I was determined to take good care of it. Oil changes were the extent of the regular maintenance this very girly girl understood. If something went wrong, though, I was determined to suffer any imagined price exploitation by mechanics and get it fixed right away. So when over a year ago my car would not start after a Bible study at my church, I took it straight to a recommended mechanic. After driving it, inspecting it, and whatever else they do, he said he couldn't tell what was wrong; come back when it was broken. Wrong! It wouldn't start. How much more wrong can a car go, I wondered. Dad taught me how to press on the gas and tell my engine to start anyway. Disappointed by my first mechanic experience, I started my car hard for a year. Occasionally the thought would cross my mind that this might not be good for the car, but what can you do when no one knows what's wrong?

This week I finally decided to take my car in again. Granted, the engine runs noticeably rougher than the time I brought it to the mechanic before. Those of you who love cars are probably cringing at these confessions. Maybe I'm in a generous mood this week; I don't know. I'm just tired of worrying about what is wrong with my car.

This morning the automotive repair shop calls and the man asks if I'm sitting down. Great sign, right? Luckily, I was. His estimate made me a bit sick.

$941... (some odd cents; when you start like that, who's listening to the end?)

Is that just me, or could you buy a lot of candy bars for what it costs to replace my radiator and temperature sensors and a list of other little things that I recognize as little but of whose motor purposes I am ignorant?

Yes, sensors. See, all this time I'm trying to be a responsible car owner. If the oil light comes on, refill the oil. Get the oil change every 3,000 miles as recommended. When the coolant light flashed I submitted and asked my maintenance mechanics if they could fix it (dreaming horrible dreams of what it could be). They told me it was just a tiny bit low, and they topped it off for free. I checked carefully per the manual to be sure when the coolant light flashed that my engine wasn't getting too hot. Not that. Temperature normal.

Today I find out the news. Babies cry when they hurt, are hungry, teething, or need a diaper change. They can't talk, but they communicate. My gold baby with power sunroof and rear spoiler can't communicate at all. Her sensor was broken, and the official temperature she thought she had was 15 degrees Farenheit. All the while the coolant was low and her engine was overheating and everything was just miserable for her, I'm sure.

Despite my best intentions (short of going to mechanic school myself), my car is a mess and I didn't even know. What is up with that?

This week has been a control week. Not "get life under control," or going on a power trip. Quite the reverse. Every once in a while God reminds me that not only am I not in control (which could be voluntary), but there is nothing I can do about certain things. All my efforts are vain. Just like washing your hands a million times a day won't guarantee that you'll resist the viruses floating around during the winter season. But God is in control. He is God and I am not. There are reasons here, I'm sure, that I was sick on Tuesday and that my car is costing nearly a thousand dollars in repair.

The other half of this moral is that even though there are reasons, and results to efforts I make, God is not obligated to show them to me. Outcome does not determine the validity of my obedience or dependence. Sometimes the results are in me.

Ohh, I'm groaning, though, thinking of all the hours of work that went into paying this repair bill. $941 dollars better be worth it!

To God be all glory.


Lisa of Longbourn said...

Not to be totally whining and destroying my poor car's reputation, but in case anyone was interested, my silly, non-communicative car is a Saturn SL2, and all Saturns are notorious for sensor malfunction. Normally this is just annoying. In my case, however, it's not. The sensors would have been important.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Lisa of Longbourn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa of Longbourn said...

I just found this post by another blogger (she was participating in Crystal's Frugal Friday). Sorry about being link incompetent. You can copy and paste the link. Anyway, do you think brownies would help?
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

No, not unless you really like brownies. But of course you do, don't you?

But for me, that's about two months of hard work at my job. *cringe*

Hope it all goes well, take care of yourself!