Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Car Story

God works in mysterious ways. This was proven to me again this week. After sixteen years of driving my '85 Honda CRX, I decided one morning while shivering on the way to work that I didn't want to face another Idaho winter with a broken car heater and no rear window defroster. Scraping ice off both the outside AND the inside of my windshield at zero degrees, while peeking through a tiny thawed section of window, was not my idea of a good time and what's more, my seat was only attached to the frame by one bolt, meaning that if I were to get into a wreck, I would be hurled ejection-seat style out either the back or front window, depending on the direction of impact. Enough already. It was time to let go of my baby, my little blue friend who had carried me near and far and still could, for that matter, as it ran like brand new.

Not being a wealthy person, I visited my favorite used-car dealer, whose children I taught back in the early nineties. He runs a small used-car lot called 'Kelly's Screaming Deals' here in Ammon, and he's a good guy who's sold me three excellent cars in the past. There are several models of cars that have always caught my fancy. One is the CRX. The other is the Chevrolet Impala--a 1964 Chevy Impala to be exact. Well, Kelly didn't have a '64, not that I could have afforded on anyway, but he did have three Chevy Impalas on the lot. He's just bought them from the Weber County (Utah) Police Department. These cop cars have a 3.8 L V-6 that has tons of power but still gets fairly good gas mileage (20 in town, 30 on the highway). One of the three was pretty rough in some ways, cosmetically, so it was pretty cheap. It ran strong. It had cloth front seats and a plastic bench seat for drunken or bleeding arrestees. It had holes where the light rack and other cop stuff had been mounted, all patched with some kind of black resin. I bought it.

Now came the next question. What was I going to do with my little CRX? Granted, it was worth all of $400 to $500 and got 40 miles per gallon, so it would sell instantly if I listed it. But there was an inner voice in me telling me not to sell it. I couldn't quite figure out what I was supposed to do with it. My wife would kill me if I left it out front. Our driveway has almost as many cars in it as Kelly's Screaming Deal, what with my wife's car, my son's car, my daughter's car, and my daughter's fiancee's car. So, what to do?

I work at a high school for kids who have not succeeded in regular schools. For many of them, it's because life has been none too kind. I decided to give my car to the most deserving student at school. On Tuesday, I told my classes that I had a car that looked rough but ran great. It needed a new home. The requirement to get it was that the recipient had to have a demonstrated need and had to be a mechanic who could fix the problems, like the heater and the seat. One of my students approached me. He had a friend who had just gotten his license, but had no car. His father had lost his job because he was very ill and they were living on public assistance. The father, though blind, had until recently been a Certified Master Mechanic, and he was able to work on a car even without his sight. The young man, only 16, was taking on the responsibilities for the family.

It was a perfect fit. Here was somebody who needed the car, and who had the skills to fix it up.

Yesterday afternoon, I watched my little friend the CRX drive away for the last time.

This was a good example of how God uses different people to achieve an end. He directed me to give the car away. The student from school, also a Christian, instantly thought of his friend and interceded for him. The end result, a family that needed a car now has one.

And everybody is happy.


Richard Havers said...

Great story Rob. If the new one lasts as'll be a happy camper

r morris said...

Just payin' it forward, Richard.
I'm a firm believer in that.
And I know you are, too.