Thudddd. Thud. Thudd. Thud.
"Something is wrong with my car," I say as my front end sinks toward the pavement. I re-park my car to assess the situation. Just as I suspect. My left front tire is completely flat. I look at my cell phone. It's 7:35. I typically catch my bus at the transit station at 7:39. That's not going to happen.
Before I get into a tizzy as I would have in the past, I am reminded of this. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2-3.
I say a prayer, "God, for the first time, I'm going to trust you with this situation. You're going to work everything out, so I will not worry. No matter the cost, whether time or money, I will look to you for provision and grace."
I walk back inside. The warm air reminds me of summer and I begin to smile. I get inside and approach the side of my sister's bed.
"Melody, can you bring me to work?" I whisper.
"What's wrong? What happened? Did you miss your bus?" She answers with a start. She has always been concerned about the needs of others. This is why I admire her so much.
I explain calmly, "Well, my tire is flat. I'm not exactly sure what to do, but I do need to get to work. I'll call Triple A from my office."
Melody pulls on a jacket and grabs her keys. We survey the damage as we walk by. Melody comes up with a solution, "Stefan and I will take care of putting your spare on. Can you bring it to the shop today?"
I open the Google Calendar in my brain. I work my second job in the afternoon, but I think it will work out if I go on my break. I say, "I'll manage. It's just a blessing to have your help. Sorry about all this."
At about 10:30am Melody gives me an update. "Your tire looks like it's been slashed, but its probably just from ware."
I sigh. Thank God I wasn't on the highway when this happened. I could've died.
"Thanks Mel. You have no idea how blessed I am that you are doing this for me."
At the Louisiana Transit Center I'm re-united with my car. I look at it with great joy. "You look great with that spare on.” I’ve found that the more dents, rust and dirt I see on the outside of my car, the more I am unaware of my place in life because it doesn’t matter. I take care of this car, but I could care less if I drive a Geo Metro or a Jaguar. If my only mode of transportation was walking, I’d do it gladly. I am completely and undeservedly over blessed.
I get to Lifetime and my co-worker Steve helps me set up an appointment with Tires Plus. Now, when I first met Steve, I thought he was a bro. He was clean cut, wore vibrant shirts with excellent silk ties and seemed to be more fit than most. I completely misjudged him. As I get to know Steve, I realize how kind and sincere he is. His father was dying of kidney disease, so he donated one of his kidneys for his father to survive. He sometimes has pain from the operation, but he doesn’t complain. He’s in a relationship with a girl whose previous boyfriend died of kidney failure. He works hard, talks about having a family someday, being a great dad, giving time to good causes. Steve is an everyday superhero. He even took the time to make me an appointment with Tires Plus. God bless him.
I get to Tires Plus and I wait a long time before I see anyone with a Tires Plus nametag. I remain at peace. Other people have things going on that are more important than my tire. And I have another 20 minutes on this break. I look at the tires on the wall. The smell makes me giggle. My garage never smelled like this.
A young guy named Taylor pops through the door. “How can I help you?”
I explain the situation. He goes to my car, removes the tire and sends me on my way.
The following day, Taylor calls and says the tire was repaired. He can put it on during my break. It’s going to cost me like $20. “Yessssss,” I think.
I leave my cubicle to go to the gym. I get another call. “Joy, this is Taylor from Tires Plus. Say, about that tire we fixed. It actually had a huge gash in it that we didn’t catch earlier. I’m afraid we’re going to have to put a new one on.” He says it all quickly as if he was ripping off a band-aid waiting for the shouts. It’s going to cost more. This typically doesn’t make people very happy.
I answer, “Well, thanks for catching that. It could’ve been a bad situation if I drove off with the gash in the tire. I really appreciate you finding that.”
I get to the shop later that evening. The overcast sky keeps the April first air at a balmy 80 degrees. I’m completely content. I leave my keys with Taylor and walk across the street to Starbucks for an iced tea on the patio.
I walk back 20 minutes later to a fixed auto. Taylor prints off the work slip. He winces at the price. “It’s going to be…92 bucks.”
“It costs what it costs,” I say. “Thanks again for all your hard work.”
I get back to work within my break time.
Now, I think about how the whole situation went down. I got paid the day my tire blew out and I still was able to tithe and put 20 percent in my savings. The whole time I could’ve been worrying, but I was able to be kind to the people helping me. It feels like the Lord’s righteousness is becoming natural without any forethought. Instead of worrying about not sinning, I’m more concerned with working out my righteousness. It’s such a blessing to me. I even paid for the person behind me at McDonalds when I was in the drive through. (Don’t worry guys. I didn’t get a burger. I got a milkshake and I still weigh 155 lbs.) They waved. I was blessed.
I realize how great my life is. My God is great. I have awesome family, two great jobs and excellent friends. I am constantly reminded of what direction I am moving in, yet I am content with today, here and now.
For you, keep in the Word. Talk to God each moment of the day, even when it’s hard. Give to others and love them. His righteousness will take you by surprise. I guarantee you will be blessed.