I’ve had a bit of a series of undesired events lately. It started when the engine in my compact tractor that I just bought last fall suddenly started knocking like a drug addict at the front door of a pawn shop that closed ten minutes ago and hemorrhaging oil like a grounded oil tanker. The feeling I got then was probably akin to what folks with significant stock holdings have felt like the last few days, especially the ones whose stock value dropped by eighty percent in two minutes.
Then, a week later, we returned an eighteen-hundred-dollar horse that didn’t quite pass a thirty-day money-back trial period. The trial ended six weeks ago but the judge, a.k.a., previous owner, hasn’t returned our money yet. Sort of the coup de etat in this persnickety little series of misfortunate events came exactly four weeks ago yesterday when I fell off another horse that was on its second day of a thirty-day money-back trial period. We did at least get a check from these people (although I don’t know yet if it has cleared their bank) and my ribs and back have healed enough that I can roll over onto one side with only slight pain now. At this rate of improvement, I figure to be back in the saddle in just another three or eight years.
Then, just to top things off, I decided to follow through with a vow I made in April to sell my motorcycle and donate the money to our favorite charity, Smile Train. Put an ad in the paper and on Craigslist and then figured I better start the Nighthawk up and make sure it’s in good running condition. Now, it’s in the shop and I found out that the title has a one-digit mistake in the VIN, so there’s that on top now.
So, like I said, there’s been a string of Things Not Going the Way I Want Them to Go. But what’s really humiliating is the way I’ve let that stuff get to me. I haven’t missed a meal or a payment, I don’t need a cane or a walker and my wife doesn’t have cancer. We have so many blessings that any dozen or two families in many places in the world would gladly make do with what we have. And yet, in spite of that knowledge, I’ve let my usually sunny disposition sour into something more resembling a stale dishrag or a bag of potatoes that got forgotten in the back of the cabinet.
So, I’m repenting of that and remembering the past couple of sermons I’ve heard about faith and perspective on the things of this world. What’s doubly embarrassing about the whole deal is that I’m the one that preached those sermons.
So, I’m hereby making my confession and asking that you pray for my forgiveness and strengthening. And, if by chance you just happen to ask the Lord to send me a couple of buyers with cash in hand and to touch the heart of a certain horse trader in Oak Grove, Missouri, why that’d be OK with me.
But the prayer that I most need is for me to be able to live the way that I preach.