That’s What They Say

One of the great challenges of having three driving children is maintaining the fleet of vehicles.  There is one car, our yellow Ford Escape, that has been “the car” for our kids.  It’s a great vehicle for teenagers…but on the third kid it is starting to act its age.

This last week we had to have a coil replaced in the engine…an expensive job.  Our mechanic at ONB Automotive, just down the street from our house in Everett, called me with the news.  He started with this sentence, “I’m glad you are a Christian man, because you are not going to like this news.”  He was correct.  I didn’t like the news and, in that moment, I didn’t feel very Christian.

Last evening the work was done.  I picked up the Escape and made the big payment for the new coil.  It was an unbudgeted kick to the already tight budget.

As I was leaving the shop, the manager, same guy that called me earlier, said, “Remember…God is good.”  And I stopped…not knowing if he was just saying a cute phrase or if he was being “liturgic.”  A good Lutheran, like me, will always assume liturgy.  So I responded, “All the time.”  Realizing this may not have been a liturgical moment, I continued, “At least, that’s what they say.”

I immediately realized the mixed message.  I was trying to communicate that when someone says, “God is good,” the proper response from people is, “All the time.”  Instead, having just made a big car repair payment, it sounded as if I was communicating, “They say ‘God is good’ all the time, but then why did my coil bust.”

Of course, God is good and, of course, He is good all the time.  Be it a costly auto repair or the world’s biggest hurricane ever or the one year anniversary of a school shooting or that red meat is now as dangerous as smoking or newborns with health concerns or friends lost hiking or a mom that is in the hospital or our back is thrown out or whatever may make you wonder.

Remember as you walk out the door and into today that God is good, just ask my mechanic.