Friday, January 11, 2008

Plan for the Unexpected

No, I don't know how to do this.

A while back, one of our friends referred to Adam and I as "Spontaneous and Outdoorsy" - and while I was flattered, I had to admit that I'm really not. Outdoorsy? Sure. Spontaneous? Does "trying to be" count?

A few months ago, I rear-ended someone in the midst of lunchtime traffic. It was my own fault, simply not paying enough attention combined with a supreme impatience with crowds, but a bummer nonetheless.

Thanks to this little episode, my hood was no longer shutting properly. Adam wired it closed for safety, but now with a sadly flapping hood, crushed front bumper and the additional dings and scratches accumulated in daily life, my beloved Rocky was looking more and more like a loaner from the Clampets then my pampered one and only.

I was devastated. It sounds stupid, and I feel stupid even writing it, but this is my truck. My Rocky. (I name everything, Rocky is one of my all-time favorite movies, and a fitting name for such a boyish truck.) He and I have hauled horses, hay, tack and all my personal belongings from one side of the West to the other and back again. We have four-wheeled through mud, muck, snow and ice, and even braved those flooded Abilenian roads with a cab-load of hungry ACU freshmen, bound for "the other side of town" come hell or high water. He has been a refuge, a way out, a magic carpet - and I have washed, cleaned, changed oil in, and been proud of, my old boy for over 6 years.

"It's just a thing," Adam said as I cried at the wire poking out of the grill and Rocky's overall disreputable appearance.

Beyond my emotional distress, though, I couldn't see how this would get resolved. Obviously, the hood had to get fixed. But I spend the majority of my paycheck paying rent, the rest goes to the gas that Rocky gleefully guzzles, and there's not a great deal left over for car repairs, let alone a new front end on an old pick-up.

I'm ashamed to say that I steadfastly refused to believe that it would be OK. Honestly. I dug my feet in and wallowed in my misery like a champ, crying over a thing and ignoring the wisdom floating around me.

I put my duress in the back of my mind though - managing to blissfully forget about the troubles of truck-ownership until we dropped Rocky off at the Body Shop for an estimate.

"What's the matter?" asked my patient and long-suffering boyfriend. I tried to hold it in, but my ocean-deep lack of faith came bubbling out. Soon I was again terrified... and blathering on about it as though volume of words could fix what a short prayer would have. As much as I would've liked to think that I had conquered my fear, I had merely covered it with distractions, and when those were gone, and so was my poor excuse for Faith.

Thankfully for me, though, God's patience doesn't run out as easily as my Faith in Him does. While I doubted my future, the mechanic fixed my hood for no charge and God smiled at me while I shook my head at my own foolishness.

The beauty of Life is that it is so unexpected - both good times and bad. Here's to the new lessons I've learned: that people are infinitely more important than things, that God is faithful, and that even the best of trucks don't last forever.

With his working hood and slightly straightened front bumper, though, I think Rocky has a few more adventures in him yet.

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