Get used to it – Flats that is
You would think by now; I’d be used to flat tires. If you have been following the last two blogs, you know that I have now spent $170 on two flat tires in one week. I am one week into a new commitment to driving the van at my new church. My aspirations of picking up senior adults and bringing them to the church were quickly fizzling to a dull murmur of complaining about the cost. I initially thought working for the church was supposed to pay me dividends in the form of new friends, smiles, and the like, not cost me hard-earned cash. Boy did I have a lot to learn and a long way to go. Fortunate for me, God is very patient.
Wait for it
The next six days came and went from the second flat tire. This story is almost too ridiculous to believe, but I am telling you the truth. This is not made up in any way. Besides, spending $170 on new tires is not something folks set about to contrive.
We were new to the City of Orlando, so on the weekends, we would go for drives to familiarize ourselves with the city. I always thought Orlando was a big city full of bright lights and endless possibilities. After all, it’s Orlando, the all too familiar home of the mouse and his funny looking friend who charge an exuberant amount to come over to the house. But Orlando as a whole in the downtown area is tiny. If I had to guess, the Disney property occupies more landmass then downtown.
We wanted to see the sights and get to know this beautiful city. Besides, not knowing a whole lot of people, I got anxious sitting in the apartment night after night with a two-year-old. Driving was good for both of us.
Anyway, back to six days later
On this particular Saturday evening, we headed out to drive around town and see the sights. I put my daughter in the van via the passenger side. I ran around to my side, jumped in, started her up, put the van in reverse, and NOTHING.
Despite the rev of the engine, the van wouldn’t move. I put the van back into park. Then I put it back into reverse, again pressing the gas pedal – again, no movement. Still, the engine is revving with the press of the gas pedal under my foot.
At this point, I throw up my hands perplexed entirely as to what’s happening. I am no auto mechanic, but I know enough to know when you put the car in reverse and press the gas, the vehicle should move.
I put the van back in park, turned the engine off and waited. After a few minutes, I turned it back on, went through the same motions, and still nothing. I shut it back off. By now, I’m thinking to myself, “He is working hard on me to keep me from going to church tomorrow.”If you have been following this series, you know who the “he” is I am referring to – Satan.
We’re not leaving
I got out of the van and made my way around to the other side to grab my daughter. As I made my way around the front of the van, suddenly, my eye caught sight of a tire on the front passenger side lying flat on the ground. Get this now – it wasn’t laying flat as in flat on its rim flat; it was lying flat as in resting on its side flat with NO RIM. Someone had taken my good tire, RIM, AND ALL and left my vehicle sitting on their flat tire with no rim. My brake rotor was exposed.
It’s no wonder the van didn’t move when I put it in reverse. When I think about it now, I’m very thankful it didn’t move because it probably would have destroyed the brake rotor too.
I give up
At this point, I’m ready to call it quits. Not only will it cost me another $85.00 for a new tire, but this time I would have to purchase the rim as well. Thanks a lot, right!!
My poor friend must have been sorry she suggested I move to the area because this would be the second time in a week they would get me and take me to the tire store. Two hundred dollars later, and we were back in business. Only this time, I wised up. I spent another $20.00 and bought locking lug nuts for all four tires.
In my mind, there was no doubt they would be back for the other one. At this point, I had replaced three of the four tires on the van. Number four was begging to be addressed. It was going to be a fight.
I stood there at the back of the van when I got home, and I shouted into the air, “Come on back, devil. I’ve got locking lug nuts this time and a new passion for Jesus that ain’t going to die. You’re not going to keep me from going to church! Bring it on!” And with that, I went inside the house and plopped down in the chair.
I got to church the next morning despite Satans’ best efforts to detain me.
The battle is real
I believe there are times when we have to tell the devil we aren’t going to allow him to defeat us and win. We’re not going to let him drag us down. We’re not going to allow him to keep us silent. We have to stand for what we believe in. We have to push through the hard times because if we don’t, he wins the battle.
If he can get us into the habit of not going to church, of not praying, of not serving, then he can drag us away from Jesus and put a wedge in our relationship with Jesus. My friends that is not a good place to be. Even when we don’t feel like doing it, we have to push through. Look, we can’t keep telling ourselves tomorrow or the next day, or the day after that, I’ll start again. We have to make the move today. We have to follow through today. Don’t give the enemy a foothold.
Ephesians 4:27 – “Do not give the devil an opportunity.”
God, I thank you for giving me the courage to stand up against the enemy. Lord, as hard as it seems some times, we need to stand firm. We cannot give the enemy a foothold, an opening to cause havoc in our lives. Father, I pray for my friends and me to have wisdom and forethought to know when we are being attacked. I pray we will stand firm and stay committed to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Bridge to Grace – a nonfiction novel