When Life Throws A Lot At Us Very Quickly

Aerial photo of a parking lot with cars

The frustration of cars, and what I’m learning

I have become completely fed up with cars. Seriously. They drive me up the wall (no pun intended). If I could, I’d be done with them, and get myself a team of horses and a wagon. Cars are smelly, noisy, and cost so much in fuel and maintenance, especially with the rapidly rising cost of gasoline.

“Now James,” you might be thinking, “cars have been like that for years and years. Why the sudden disgust with them now?”

Well, I’ll tell you, reader. It all started just about two weeks ago (from the time I began to write this article). It was a Tuesday. We had a heavy snowfall the past day or so, which had been a rarity in Burin this year. My wife was heading out to work, but promptly discovered that her SUV (which had run perfectly the day before) would not start. The dominant theory as to why this was happening involved the cold temperatures, which had either drained the battery or frozen the engine. An attempt to boost it from my little sedan did nothing to alleviate the problem, and so, with my wife worried about being late for work, she borrowed the sedan for the day.

Flash forward to later that day: I received a panicked phone call from my wife, who told me that she had just been in an accident due to a patch of black ice. Thankfully she was unhurt, and there were no other people involved. However, my car was smashed beyond repair. It was an upsetting day, as you can imagine. My wife was very shaken, and we were both just thankful she was alive.

A few days later, and her SUV was still unable to start (a mechanic would later inform us that the motor needed to be replaced), and we began to wonder about the chances that both cars would fail us on the same day. As of writing this we still haven’t gotten the SUV repaired and are using a rental car.

Between the worries about repair costs, costs of getting a new or used car, Facebook knowing my search history and now advertising every car brand under the sun to me constantly, and adapting our lives around the likelihood of having a single car to get around in, my frustration levels have been quite high.

And I also got COVID-19.

And in terms of my stress level, that last one was actually more of a blessing. Feeling sick, having to isolate, and having to postpone, cancel, or delegate ministry responsibilities was not very good. But, there is a lot to be said for the extra time I seem to have for prayer and contemplation. Sometimes, especially when things all seem to be going wrong at once, we need those moments of peace and quiet to try and get some perspective on problems that otherwise threaten to overwhelm us.

I was blessed to have two cars in a world where many people have none. I was blessed that my wife came out of a dangerous accident with no serious injury. If, after all is said and done, I have a car that will get me from A to B, that too is a blessing.

Sometimes our lives throw so much at us so fast that it can be hard to think straight. When our problems become the centre of our lives, our lives lose their centre. I take the view now that God was using these unfortunate events to teach me. I must learn not to take for granted the blessings in my life. I must learn to be more prepared for a rainy day. I must learn that, in the swirl of panic and frustration, it helps to step back and truly see and appreciate the bigger picture, a listen to God’s calming voice. There is always lots to learn.

I’m still fed up with cars though.

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