Monday, March 05, 2012

5th March 2012

I remember many years ago that a day like today would have been a real strain on my nerves. Yes it was MOT time for my car and it’s far from being a recent model. Actually I’ve always run as old a car as I can get away with as I’m not really interested in the things, as long as they work reliably and fairly economically. And I can’t remember not scrapping a car when I’d finished with it for decades. My money is better spent elsewhere I reckon… like my motorhome which is the only new vehicle I’ve ever bought and could have paid for several brand new cars! But then again the suggestion is that with a private sale they more or less keep their value. We’ll see what happens when the time comes.

My dad taught me how to work on cars as a teenager with a number of complete vehicle rebuilds. He’d strip and renovate the engine whilst I would play with the electrics which always seemed to need a full rewire. Eventually I learned to do most jobs, but with older cars in those days it became very time consuming and when I damaged my back I simply gave up trying to work on them. Until twenty years ago I would handle all jobs apart from welding and so MOT day was always stressful, when with a busy work life and a large family I’d often be faced with a substantial additional workload. I remember one occasion, which so happened was not an MOT day, when my gearbox lost a gear and needed urgent repair as I had no reverse. It was Easter and I was off work for the week, planning to spend time with my family as well as overseeing a major musical/theatrical event at my church. Anyway the most economical solution was a second-hand gearbox from another car. So I managed to buy one ‘off the shelf untested’ and set to task on my driveway, outdoors - in the rain. The replacement turned out to be worse than my original, so back to the breakers where the only other available box was still on a car. My leading actor from church came with me and somehow we managed to flip the car onto it’s side to aid removal, took the gearbox home and fitted it to my own car, where it worked fine. So yes I did get to the church on time on that occasion, though I didn’t see much of the kids all week. But what a hassle! I’m so grateful to my brother-in-law who owns his own garage and makes life so simple, with his computerised diagnostics, professionally kitted out workshop and sometimes a coffee made by the receptionist… my little sister.

Looking back I can’t believe I lived like that. I must have been crazy making work for myself when I didn’t really need to. It was certainly a false economy and truth be told I’ve never had any bill in the whole of my life that I couldn’t pay. Maybe a few that made me wince a little, but basically God always provides, so why worry as long as I’m not foolish?

It’s so easy to be blind to our own failings and yet as God leads us on, he gradually helps us to live in a more orderly way. I could sure do with a shortcut out of my bereavement journey at the moment as at times it feels like real hard work. I’m moving on emotionally for sure but would love to have some indication of how I might move on in a more practical way. All in good time I suppose but I can’t imagine continuing to live with my son, in the same house he was born in, for the next few decades. Star Wars and his home cooking on a Saturday night may be a treat at the moment but there’s more to life than that for the pair of us. If Jane were with us she’d sort us out. Yes a good woman makes all the difference, but where do we get one or even two of them from on a cold winter’s night?

Psalm 23:1 ‘The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.’ (NLT)

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