Monday, August 20, 2012

Learning about Faith While Buying a Car

Oh my goodness – I have had a wonderful and stressful week! For the last couple of years, the family mechanic has been telling me that my car wasn’t going to last much longer and judging by the repair bills, ($2000-$3000 twice a year) I decided it was better to start looking for a replacement before the next inspection due in October.
This is the first car I’ve ever bought that I’ve had the opportunity to take my time in looking for and choosing the one I really want rather than the one on the used car lot that fell in my limited price range. Not only that, but this is the first car where I, myself, did the work and made the decisions. Until recently, I’ve relied on other people to make these kinds of life decisions for me – my husbands or my parents.
After two months of looking, I finally found “the one” late last week and initiated the process of purchasing it. All week long, I’ve been taking two steps forward and one step back in the process of buying my new-to-me car. I don’t remember it being so confusing before or time consuming when my husbands or my parents were running the show, but I pushed through the mistakes and the hassles and I am happy to report that I will be holding my new registration card in hand soon. I learned a lot about the process of buying a car this past week – both in my successes and mistakes. And I’ve proven to myself that I’m not as helpless and incapable as I thought I was. 

So what’s this have to do with faith? Recently, my mentor, who has been helping me grow in spiritual wisdom and in my walk with the Lord for the last nine years, mentioned that it seems as though the Lord has brought me into a position where he is using me to disciple others. I can’t disciple others!!!! I’m not trained for that!!! What if I get it wrong and it screw it up? Discipling is for someone who knows more, has more scripture memorized, who’s more spiritual and can answer those tough theological questions.

As I reflected on my week today, I realized that I wasn’t trained in automobile facts and statistics or in the process of purchasing one. That’s always been the responsibility of someone who knew more about cars, negotiation, and financing. I’m not a mechanic – I don’t know anything about engines or brake systems. And one practically has to take a course in economics to figure out the best way to finance anything these days. Here’s one tip I can now give you after all my running around last week – when you sell the old car (instead of trading it in) and you are planning to transfer your license plate to your new vehicle, it’s a good idea to take the plate off the old car before you leave it with the new owner! Otherwise, you have to drive back the next day and pick up the plate. All I’m trying to say here is that I wasn’t specially prepared for buying this car. It took a whole lot of research, using all my resources at hand, and relying on the expertise of others when necessary that put my new vehicle in the parking lot outside my apartment building.

And in the same way, I’m not specially prepared to disciple anyone, but I have God’s Word and a large assortment of commentaries and Bible studies to draw wisdom from, and God’s Holy Spirit to open my heart and mind to his leading. Actually, I have everything the first disciples had when they started fulfilling the Great Commission - a relationship with Jesus. They were fisherman and a tax collector. They didn't take a course at seminary to learn to lead people in the faith. I’m going to take two steps forward and one step back as I continue on my faith journey with those whom God has brought into my life either as mentor or disciple and we all will be blessed from the successes and failures we share with each other. And when we make those mistakes, God's grace is always there catching us and putting our feet firmly on the ground and facing in the right direction to continue on down the road to our destination - God's holy presence among us.
my new-to-me car

About the pictures:
Riverside Inn (Cambridge Springs) August 2012

1 comment:

Audrey said...

Congratulations on your new car! But, more importantly congratulations on discovering your capabilites...both in buying a car and witnessing your faith. I think that when we see others who studied long and hard to receive their degrees in religion, we feel somewhat intimidated by their knowledge and thus underestimate our own abilities to help lead others to a relationship with God. Thank you for reminding me that unlike dogs, we older folks can learn new tricks! Enjoy cruising around while the weather is great.