In Which We Import Howard

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It’s said that our theology should affect daily life. This week, I saw my view of the sovereignty of God influence how I responded to stress and frustration. This is just one example of how a study of God’s character has implications on everyday living. If I did not believe that God is 100% sovereign over every detail of my life and has orchestrated a perfect plan, I would have given in to a despairing outlook and a rotten attitude as events unfolded. Here’s a nutshell of what happened…

Andrew and I have been car shopping on Craigslist for a few weeks. I’ve spent many hours researching different models, following up on leads, etc. On Monday, I found one that seemed to be everything we were looking for. It was about an hour-and-a-half away, in Canada. Here’s what went down after that…

  • I made phone calls to the border patrol and our local courthouse to ensure I had all the paperwork needed for importation to the USA. We drove up to Canada and purchased the car, which I named Howard (after Franck’s assistant in Father of the Bride).
  • After getting lost for a good 30 minutes, we arrived back at the border and realized that Howard was missing a mandatory DOT approval sticker on the engine.
  • We left Howard in Canadian visitor parking overnight, paid $100 to get a manufacturer letter stating DOT compliance, and returned to Canada the next day to retrieve him.
  • Howard got hit while in visitor parking. Of course, there were no surveillance cameras and no witness, so we got to eat the $300 damage (still getting repaired). We then spent 2+ hours at customs waiting to process the paperwork again.
  • Andrew went to register Howard in Washington only to discover that they had failed to tell us about one more form we were required to have the owners sign. So we headed up to Canada for the third time in three days with the form.
  • Due to other logistics too complicated to explain, we will have one more trip to Canada next week and then hopefully Howard is ours for good and we are done with paperwork for awhile.

The hours of work lost, the time and gas money spent to make three trips up north, the false information we were given by government employees, the scoundrel who ran into our car and didn’t leave a note, the countless phone calls…all this and more combined to make the week very stressful.

But I know that my Heavenly Father saw it all and cared for us through it. Having a firm grasp of His total control over even the small things in life is largely what got me through with a “happy heart”, albeit not sinlessly. I had my moments, and I did temporarily lose it when we found that someone had rear-ended the car, but even that God helped me to put back into perspective. It’s just a car, and He has reasons. Lessons learned…

  • Our time and schedules are really God’s time and schedules. He ordained that we would “waste” hours on seemingly needless logistics this week, so they are not wasted if we bring honor to Him even through the frustrations.
  • It’s healthy to take a step back for some perspective and realize how much worse a situation could be. This was nothing in the grand scheme of life.
  • Anger at others’ mistakes and sin does nothing but feed our frustration and stress levels. Recognizing the faults of other people as part of God’s plan for our lives helps deflect the resentment that could build up toward those who have wronged us. 

When it’s all been said and done, we’ll have what seems to be a good, dependable car provided by the kindness of the Lord. Hopefully it is in His plan for it to last us through seminary and beyond. We are so thankful for His care for our physical needs and grateful that we were dealing with car troubles and not people troubles. I’ll take the former any day over the latter! ;) We’ll probably be laughing about all this in a few months.

…And you wondered why I haven’t blogged much this week.

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