I wrote this exactly one month before I bought my new car. It is from Febraury 28, 2010.
This might come as a shock to some who know me but I'm buying a new car. Lord willing, a week or so from now, I will be the proud (and yet hopefully humble) owner of a 2010 Honda Fit like the one pictured above. I've always said I would never buy a new car due to depreciation but I decided I can get a great deal now and not have to worry about it for ten years. I researched and found the Fit has earned rave reviews, being the top ranked subcompact vehicle in 2009 by Consumer Reports. The Lord opened doors for me, as well. In the parking lot one day, I saw one of our teachers, Linda Shannon, driving that same model and asked how she liked it. It so happened Linda was scheduled for knee replacement surgery in several days and she suggested I drive it for the weeks she would be unable to. I have and found it to be exactly what I want- affordable, dependable, and comfortable. That still left me at a loss. I've never bought a new car and didn't know where to start. The Lord intervened again. A fellow Nebraskan lives a mile from me, is married to a young lady I grew up with, AND is an automobile wholesaler. Brian walked me through the process, negotiated a good buy with a Houston dealership, and even will accompany me when I go to take possession. I never even stepped foot on the car lot. Talk about being blessed each step of the way!
On the other hand, I also need some living room furniture. You might call me a typical bachelor with hand-me-down furnishings but I realize the need for a couple of chairs or a sofa, nothing expensive but useful and void of food related stains. What I have was being discarded by a friend several years ago and it has not aged gracefully. So, I went Saturday morning to several stores and wandered around. But, I went with no idea of what I was looking for and directionless, I just wasted time. (I did see Nancy, one of my favorite former students at Starbucks which made the excursion worthwhile.) Not shockingly, I came home empty handed.
Let me tell the difference between my two shopping experiences. With the car, I prayed, asking the Lord for wisdom and good choices in spending the money He has afforded me. I looked for those who could help me along the path in areas I'm weak... and I found them. With the furniture, I had no plan and never sought guidance from the Lord or from anyone else. I just showed up. That's sometimes how I find myself living my life; just showing up without a plan. I remember Dad using an illustration of Sir Edmund Hillary being asked how he came to be the first to climb Mount Everest. Dad's point was that the British explorer would not have replied, 'Well, I just showed up and there it was!' One of my favorite Psalms is the 37th. Here are some phrases pertaining to our focus:
vs 3 Trust in the LORD
vs 4 Delight yourself in the LORD
vs 5 Commit your way to the LORD
vs 7 Be still before the LORD
Sometimes I do those things and sometimes I don't. Amazingly, things go much smoother when I follow those ancient guidelines of David and don't lean on my own expertise and random acts of spending money. I doubt David envisioned car buying when he penned those thoughts of praise but they should apply to me in every aspect of my life. And those too rare times when I let them, they're a perfect Fit.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The car has become... an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete.''
Marshall McLuhan (from Understanding Media, 1964)
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