Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Cars, Details, Moments, & God

Last night, about 9:30, while driving on the freeway, Glen announced, "We have lost power." At that moment, I basically sucked in most of the oxygen remaining in the vehicle and began holding my breath in the face of that overwhelming sense of "what do we do now?" Although I did not panic beyond the beginning signs of breath holding, my heart knew to trust God in this tangible moment of intervention, and I quietly acknowledged our need.

Glen then said, "We are coasting." Gulp. So, we coasted gently and quietly across two lanes of highway toward an exit which just happened to be available right there right then. And the lanes were open as we rolled off the freeway. We still had the electrical power -- lights, windows.

We continued coasting off the exit ramp to an intersection where the light had just turned green, right there right then. So we were able to avoid braking and continued on with the dying momentum of the silent car. We came to another intersection and the light turned green as we approached, right there right then. And our coasting momentum though slowing with every rotation of the tire, carried us through the intersection. Glen made an immediate right hand turn into the parking lot of a restaurant and then pressed on the brakes, ending the coast and ceasing the momentum, what was left of it.

Now there was time to think. We were out of traffic in a safe place. The restaurant was busy and the parking lot was well lit. Glen and our friend Craig, who had joined us for the evening, pushed the car into a parking spot and turned off the engine. It was great that Craig was right there right then to help push the car. I called the Auto Club.

One tow truck came, but did not have room for three people to ride, so he left. It was probably 30 minutes or so until a "crew cab" tow truck arrived, but our generous friend Sam showed up simultaneously. Craig and I rode with Sam back to Whittier. Glen and the car rode to the Whittier mechanic. Sam dropped us off at home, where Craig got his car to head home. Sam picked up Glen. Glen got home a little past 11:30pm.

Our car is paid for and vintage. It is a 1996. So almost any repair is better than buying another car. We will see what happened. Car is in the shop today, and my day's plans have been adjusted accordingly.

I would like to express thanks to God for being in the moment and handling the details with us. I was aware of His presence in my sense of calm in the crisis, and in my sense of anticipation that it would all be OK. I am grateful that I wasn't driving alone when this happened. I am grateful that we got off the freeway safely. I am grateful that we got to a safe parking spot safely. I am grateful that nothing was left that day, so we were not panicked to keep up with any schedule. I am grateful that we are able to maintain our Auto Club membership. I am grateful that Sam was able and willing to drive to Cerritos and shuttle us all back home. I am grateful that the towing bill was only about $35 for that distance. I am grateful that my work schedule today is more flexible than most days, so no car is not a stress factor. I am grateful that God is in the moment, in the details. Even with cars, He cares. Crisis can create an awareness of His involvement. God is live and active. Some days, I just pay more attention.

At church on Sunday night, we sang "Everything" by Tim Hughes. This song echoes in my heart this morning. I'd like to add another line, "God in my driving."