I took Lori's car to Firestone because she had a flat tire. I changed the tire and put on the spare. Then I dropped it off to have it fixed. My friend Ray told me that they would fix it for free. Silly me. I actually believed him.
An hour later I got the call. The tire was not good enough to fix and two of the other tires were pretty badly worn. They suggested four new tires and a front end alignment for a cost of $589. I couldn't believe a simple flat tire could end up costing me so much.
The truth is that you never know what tomorrow will bring. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to be frugal and make the right decisions only to have one problem lead to another with a big bill follow.
That's the way life works. It is unpredictable. The best thing you can do is make a plan and try to stick to it. This has been true on our mission trips. The first thing we tell all of our short term missionaries is that they need to be flexible.
Robert Burns captured this sentiment in his poem, "To A Mouse" when he wrote, "The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!" In other words you can plan all you want but there will always be something that comes along to mess things up.
Flexibility is a virtue that we all need to have. The truth is that if we trust in God the little things that go askew will not bother us as much. Why? Because we know that God is in control and he has the big picture in mind. $600 is a lot of money but it could have been worse. We needed to get new tires anyway and this just forced us to speed up the timetable.
The truth is that it may have saved somebody's life down the road. God may have used the flat tire to push me into getting the tires a little ahead of schedule so that the car would be safe for Lori to take to New York or to run Rachel around town.
I like to think that God knows what is best for us and he takes advantage of the unpredictable nature of life to step in sometimes and prompt us to do what we know we need to do. I know it doesn't work that way every time but it happens enough that I have started looking for it. You know what? It has blessed me. Now I see these events as gifts from God even if they end up being a little pricey now and then.
So what is God doing in your life? Not sure? Then think about the last time something unpredictable happened to you.
Be blessed. Cal