The Joy of Car Trouble

            Thursday morning started out like pretty much every morning. The alarm went off, my wife and I walked our dogs, and I headed out to go to work. I got into my car and turned the key— nothing. My engine wasn’t even attempting to turn over. I tried to start it a few more times, but it made no difference. Something was seriously wrong with my car. I pushed it out of the garage because I thought that it might have to be towed to a mechanic. Although I didn’t think the battery was the issue, my wife and I jumped it with her car. That didn’t help either. Then, I saw the issue. My car had entered into anti-theft mode.

            Anti-theft mode prevents anyone from starting the car, even if they have the key. I don’t know what caused it to do this. Apparently, it had something to do with my key fob dying. We now live in a world where having a key is not enough to start your car. I have a lot of opinions about that, and none of them are positive. 

            This led me to have to go to multiple car dealerships to buy a new key fob and to get the key made for my car. All in all, this consumed about three hours of my morning. Suffice to say, this was a frustrating way to start my day. 

            Finally, I arrived home with the new key in hand. Of course, you cannot just stick the new key into the car and be good to go. That would be too simple. You must put the old key in first, turn it, take it out, stick in the new key, and then start the car. That programs the new key and fob to work in the car. In my humble opinion, this is way more complicated than it needs to be. As I stuck in the old, not-working key, I wondered what would happen if I tried to start my car. Sure enough, the car started as soon as I turned the key. I just had to laugh. I went through hours of running around to get a new key, and my old key was working again.

            I had my whole day mapped out. There were a few pertinent things that I needed to get done that day, but they all had to be pushed aside. It was a little reminder (albeit an unwanted one) that I am not the one in control, no matter how hard I try to be. 

            I think that we all fall into the trap of thinking that we are the masters of our own lives. We plan out our days and come up with schedules of exactly what we’ll do and when we’ll do it. Sometimes life doesn’t always go the way that we think or imagine. Often, that turns out to be a very good thing. 

            It is always important for us to remember who is ultimately in control. Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We get so caught up wanting to be the one who rules our lives that we forget that it is God who is the king of all. His plans will always take precedence over and be better than ours. 

            If we believe that God is good and that he wants the best for us, then why do we try to supersede his plans for our lives? You may know the most famous verse from the book of Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If that is what God has promised us, then why do we want to cling so tightly to our control? 

            I will inform you of something that doesn’t often get mentioned alongside Jeremiah 29:11: the Jews still got captured after God made his promise. That may seem strange given that we tend to assume that God’s plans for our lives are simple and easy. That is not usually the case. 

            Think about the heroes of the Bible; did their lives get easier after God intervened? David was a lowly shepherd who became king of Israel. I can assure you that tending to a flock of sheep is easier than running a country. Mary was a woman set to be married. She would have had kids and lived her life happily with Joseph. Then, she became an unwed mother at a time when that could have gotten her killed. She would have had a quiet, simple life. That was replaced with becoming the mother of the Savior. Peter was a fisherman who would go on to be the foundation of the early church. He would have spent his whole life in the small town of Capernaum, fishing the Sea of Galilee, if he hadn’t met Jesus. Instead, he devoted his life to advancing the Gospel. The former was easier than the latter. 

            I don’t believe any of them (or the countless others) would have argued that their lives became easier, but I am supremely confident that they wouldn’t have traded God’s plans for the ones they had for themselves.

            Do I think that God caused my car to not start on that day? No idea. I do know that he used the event to remind me that I need not be so trusting in the notion that I am the master of my own life. His plans are always greater than our own, even if they’re not easier. So the next time that your life feels out of control, remember the One who is truly in control and remember that his plans are always for your good.

Published by smith1626

I am the Director of Youth Ministries at St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot, WV. Mostly, I am a sinner saved by amazing grace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: