Loud Cars & Perfect Timing

My car is a 2003 Pontiac Vibe with over 261,000 miles on it. It is a faithful little car, and as much as I would love to drive a shiny new Dodge Caravan (yes, this mom dreams of driving a mom-van), I love not having a car payment even more and plan to drive this car until it has nothing left in it to give. I’m currently holding out for classic car plates and car insurance, but I honestly don’t think it will last quite that long.

My husband is one of those car guys, and actually does own two classic cars. One of them is a 1974 Austin Mini. Over many, many years he has completely rebuilt the car (something this antique-lover doesn’t quite understand—why buy something old, just to get rid of the oldest stuff and make it new?), which is currently only awaiting a topcoat of new paint. I love this little car, except for one thing. And it is the thing that my car, my Pontiac Vibe, now has in common with it: the noise.

When my husband rebuilt the mini he decided that to make it “safer.” The car is much smaller than modern minis, standing at only 4 feet tall (only slightly taller than our garbage cans). Since he couldn’t make it taller—easier to see—he decided he had to make it louder—impossible not to hear. So he put a sports muffler on it that is absolutely deafening. While my car does not have a sports muffler on it, it does currently have (another) hole in the line to the muffler, which makes it—you guessed it—deafening.

The similarity between our two cars dawned on me this morning as I was driving the kids to school. The longer I held the accelerator down to get up to the speed limit—70 miles per hour—the louder and louder the car got. In fact, the noise made it seem like my automatic transmission was putting forth more and more desperate attempts to shift into higher and higher gears as I drove along. And that’s precisely why I don’t enjoy driving the mini as much with the sports muffler on it as I did before my husband rebuilt it. The engine gets so loud, and sounds so desperate, that it makes me think I have to shift gears before I actually need to. It makes me feel anxious, desperate, and often makes me “jump the gun”—I shift too early, the car bucks, and I look like I don’t know how to drive a car with a manual transmission (in fact, I’ve been driving them for thirty years).

Cue the spiritual lesson. I have recently reconnected with a friend from a church I attended twenty years ago, and we’ve been talking and Instagramming a lot lately. Yesterday morning—at 1:02AM—she sent me an Instagram post with a note: “I just thought this was awesome.” And it was, and I’m sure she sent it to me because God’s Spirit prompted her to. It was a post from @thelightblonde, someone she follows, and it simply said this:

God is not in a hurry. You are. It’s why you are tired. It’s why you are anxious, and stressed, and disappointed. Trust that what was meant to be yours, will be yours.

Below that, @thelightblonde had posted, “One day you’ll look back and be thankful that things worked out His way.”

Wow.

That’s all I could reply to my friend.

Wow.

See, just Sunday evening, mere hours before my friend sent the post, I had been discussing my dream for my future with my husband—one he understands, and is supportive of, even if the changes it would bring about for our family scare him a bit. I was telling him about what I thought would be the perfect timing for my dream to be fulfilled, and tears came to my eyes when I expressed my fear that things wouldn’t work according to my perfect plan. This is something I’ve been praying about, something that’s in my heart and think God put in my heart. It is also something that I desperately want to come true.

So desperately, that at times I’m allowing it to cause me anxiety.

So desperately that maybe, just maybe, that loud revving sound in my heart yelling, It’s time! would tempt me to jump the gun and shift gears too early rather than wait for God’s perfect timing.

The message from my friend reminded me—for the second time within a week—that, instead, I need to just grab onto God with both hands (a lesson from another friend) and trust that what he has for me—whatever it is—is worth waiting for. Whenever it is, it’s worth waiting for his timing for.

And unlike me, he isn’t in a hurry.

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