Expect the Unexpected

| 1/2/2009 4:08:49 PM

When I say goodbye to one year and say hello to a new one, I almost always have mixed feelings. If it hasn’t been a good year, I look forward to wiping the slate clean and starting over, hoping the new year will be better. If it’s been a good year, I find it sad to see the old year end.

At the close of every year, I’m amazed at what the Lord has brought me through – both good and bad. I’m thankful I don’t know ahead of time what the future holds. I think if I knew about the bad things, I would want to stay right where I was. If I knew about the good things, there wouldn’t be an element of surprise – and perhaps I would be less thankful – when those things happened.

For instance, at the beginning of 2008, I didn’t anticipate getting a new car by the end of the year. I didn’t think I could afford a newer car for at least 2 or 3 more years. My car was 15 years old and I’d had it for 12 years. I was hoping I could get a couple more years out of it. When I got that car, I said I was going to drive it until it fell apart. Well, it was not only starting to fall apart, it needed two major repairs. My mechanic advised me to get a new car.

Normally, I would get excited at the possibility of getting a new car, but because I had to get a new car, I was a less than thrilled. I liked my car. I was comfortable in it. It had been a part of my life for 12 years. It was like an old friend.

Needless to say, it got to the point where I had to make a choice. I called a friend of mine who is a car salesman and explained my situation to him. He encouraged me to come in and test-drive a car he thought I’d like. I did. It was a nice car, but I just didn’t have a good feeling about it. As it happened, another car came in as a trade-in the very same day. I wound up driving it back to work, taking it home that night and buying it the next day. I still couldn’t afford a new car, but considering the price was right and the condition of my old car, I couldn’t afford not to.

I still feel like I’m driving someone else’s car, but I’m sure in time, I will become more comfortable with my new car. It was one of those unexpected blessings for which I’m very thankful.