I remember when my younger brother was in the nursing home a few years back. You have to understand something about my youngest brother – he was very independent and at times hard headed and not very wise. After all, this was the same guy who stole cars and drove them to California twenty years earlier. I guess one could argue he was pretty smart, but that depends on how you look at it.
New to this nursing home though, the charge for staying there was being covered by Medicare for the first three months of his stay which meant that his disability checks would be deposited in the bank for the first three months. This little surplus would allow him to purchase whatever he needed while living in the nursing home. At the time we didn’t know how long he would have, but we knew three months of cash would be enough for his smokes which he had to have and his polident for his dentures. He really didn’t need anything outside of that. That’s what I thought, however he had a different idea.
One day he called me to let me know he wanted to buy a car. He wanted a car, he needed a car and he was going to buy a car. Allow me to remind you, this is a guy living in a nursing home because he is a very sick man. When one goes to a nursing home, they don’t usually worry about buying a car while there. Besides, he was in no condition to be driving anywhere. But in his mind he was just as young and able as he had been all along and there was nothing or no one stopping him from making this purchase.
Of course I suggested he not buy a car and blow all the money in savings. I reminded him that he would need the cash to buy his smokes and denture cream. He would need the cash to buy additional clothes if necessary and special food if he liked. I asked him what he would do if he blew all the cash on a car that would require a tag, which in turn would require insurance and since you’re not working, how would you pay for all that? His response, “Net, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” And with that, he bought what he considered to be the best purchase of his life, a used Chevy that cost him all his money in savings, $1900. He took the nursing home bus to the tag agency and the rest is as we say history.
He was so proud of that car. You know what they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This was definitely the case here. He even had a special tag made for the car that reminded him of his glory days as a youth. It said, ‘DUBYDOO”.
A few weeks went by and guess what? He started calling his beloved sister (me) and asking for money for guess what? Smokes and denture cream. At that moment I felt compelled to lovingly remind him we were now standing at the bridge. My dear brother what are we going to do?
It was a hard lesson learned. All he could do that day was wander outside and stare at his newly used car and maybe consider it may not have been the best thing after all to have wasted all his money on a vehicle he would never drive. A few months later he would sell that car for $200.00. A tow truck driver would come tow it away and we would never see the special tag again.
Exodus 20:17 says this, ““You shall not covetyour neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
He was coveting a car, purchased the car, never drove the car and sold the car. In the meantime, he paid the real price for the car – no money, no denture cream, very frustrated over having no smokes and became even more difficult to deal with it because of the choices he had made. To top it off the nursing home wasn’t happy with the purchase either because they now had a junk car sitting in their parking lot. In the end he admitted I had been right about that one and he should have listened. Twenty years ago I may have rubbed it in his face, but now it was just a humorous story I could share with others at the time. I mean, like who buys a car when they are in a nursing home? Answer- my brother!
I would say its safe to say we have all been in that position at one time or another. We have all coveted something in our lives. Maybe some have resisted the temptation to follow through while others fell to the temptation only to find themselves in a real bind later. While going through the difficult times of having made those decisions we become frustrated ourselves and may even become difficult to deal with because we are mad at ourselves for having made the choice.
Next time we think we have to have this or that, think of my brothers story of the car and take a second look at it.
Gods word is very helpful and gives us guidance in how to handle situations in this life. That’s what I love about his word. It is timeless and what authors were inspired to write thousands of years ago, still applies to us today.
Have a great Monday and don’t forget to give glory to God for the blessings in your life. He is faithful and true like none other. Oh Lord, thank you for that. Amen.
In His Service