Friday, October 2, 2015

Lucky or Blessed

If you have seen the Katy Perry movie, you may recall her description of her childhood as strictly religious.  Her upbringing was so conservative that the kids weren’t allowed to eat Lucky Charms cereal because her parents taught that “luck was from Lucifer.”  We joke about that saying in our house – sort of.  I truly believe that all good things come from above so luck has nothing to do with those good things.  I’ve been reflecting on good things lately and how all things work together for good…according to God’s purpose.
Just this past week, we sold our corvette.  It was a hard decision and some of you may be thinking that is ridiculous.  You see, my husband and I are true opposites (except for both being cradle Episcopalians!).  This hobby we shared was something we were equally interested in and it connected us.  The club we belonged to was a charity and we raised a good amount of money to give away through car shows.  I struggled with whether to sell the car because I wanted to sell it for the right reasons.  One night during a time of meditation, these words came to me: don’t make a decision from a position of fear.  This is my life’s mantra and I had forgotten it.  I have learned that if you make a decision from fear such as taking one job because you’re afraid you won’t get another one, you’ll never be at peace with the decision.  Decisions based on fear, other than physical protection, don’t serve us.  This kind of fear is not from God.  So, I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t selling the car because I was fearful that God wouldn’t provide.  I wanted to sell the car because it was a material object that I could let go of in order to live out God’s purpose.  I also knew that my husband really loved it.  He’s a gearhead and loves cars.  He can tell you in a split second the year of a car and the options offered that year, even if the car is decades old.  Really.

Two Saturdays ago, we got a call from a potential buyer and after talking with him, he said he was bringing cash and would buy the car that day.  We spent hours cleaning up the car and he never showed or returned our calls.   Boy, were we mad.  The following Wednesday, another buyer contacted us and wanted more photos.  Thank goodness (God) that we had cleaned up the car a few days before because I didn’t have hours to do it by myself.  Thank goodness (God) that the meeting I was scheduled to attend that morning had been canceled the day before or I wouldn’t have been home to take photos.  This buyer was a car collector from the Chicago area; our car would be #15.  I explained to him that I was working in ministry now and he encouraged me in that work.  Over the next few days, we negotiated a deal and he flew in on Monday to buy the car.  My husband took the day off and as we prepared, we were a little nervous that something might happen and he wouldn’t want the car after flying down here to get it.  I boldly told Ryan this was ordained by God and that everything would be fine.  I was still a little nervous.  Anyway, Ryan brought him to the house from the airport and he said he didn’t need to test drive it – that he would test drive it all the way back to Illinois.  What?!  He handed over a certified check and we invited him to join us for lunch.  He was amazed that we would serve him lunch and said that this was going to be his best car buying story yet.  We prayed with him for a safe trip home and he left.  We did hear from him that he had arrived home safely, the car performed great, and that he really appreciated our hospitality.  All things worked together for good. 

A couple of months ago, we put dinner in the oven and an hour later, realized our dinner was still stone cold because our gas had been disconnected.  Boy, were we mad.  Through a series of financial flukes between us and our bank, the bill didn’t get paid.  I called and made arrangements for the gas company to come out the next day to reconnect our service.  After spending hours at our house, they announced they couldn’t reconnect our service because their meters were going off for a gas leak. 

About a month before the disconnection, the AT&T service man told us he thought he smelled gas in the house.  Since the gas company had told us a year ago it was our outdoor gas lamp, we weren’t too concerned.  The gas was turned off to the lamp.  As it turned out, we had FOUR gas leaks in our attic, one of which was so bad the plumber could hear the hissing of the leak.  I think God looked down and said, “well, they aren’t heeding any of the warnings I’m sending so I’m just going to cut off their gas and get this fixed once and for all.”  What seemed like a horrible inconvenience saved our lives.  I do not believe we were lucky.  We were blessed.

I have countless other stories where things didn’t seem to be going my way only to look back and see that all things worked together for good.  The next time something coincidental or serendipitous happens, thank the Guy upstairs.  It’s not as luck would have it.  It’s as God would have it.