Old vehicle fulfilled contract

When you pray, be careful what you pray, especially if it involves an old vehicle.

My husband, Pat, prayed twice for vehicles: once for one to reach so many miles and another to last through a child’s college graduation. As soon as the first came to the mileage goal, we drove at our own risk. The second, well, let’s talk about that one.

Old vehicle saved once

Three years ago, my son Tyler resurrected a rusty 1990 Toyota Celica, saving it from the salvage yard. (He replaced the head gasket and some other things.) We prayed it would last through his brother Isaac’s college. This last semester, we should have realized the end was imminent, but alas, we were blind or maybe just in denial.

Warning signs began earlier, but the first big alarm happened at Easter. Still, Pat figured it still had a few miles of life. It only had 257,041 miles after all.

Of course it rained when it died at a roadside rest area on Isaac’s return trip to college after the Easter break. Pat and Tyler went to rescue him, a three-hour round trip.

Two weeks later at graduation, we asked about the car.  Seemed fine. At least it looked okay in the parking lot—maybe a little beat up, but what would you expect from a vehicle nearly reaching classic status in age.

Clinging to hope for old vehicle

Six days passed. Wind whipped the pouring rain in vertical sheets as Isaac sat a few blocks from campus in a restaurant parking lot at 9:30 p.m. with a dead car. Finishing one job and heading home to start a new appeared to be starting with drama, but he remained calm. Those at home—at least one—felt something other than calm.

“We aren’t driving that far this late. Is there someone you can stay with?” Three agitated people waited.

Relief came with the response. Yes, he could stay on campus. A friend picked him up.

Everyone crept into bed with some apprehension. My husband had to work in the morning. Tyler could change his plans. He needed to if the car needed repairs. A mechanic, I am not. I suppose I could have transferred all of his belongings into the van and left the other car alongside the road, but I don’t believe in being irresponsible. That car needed to limp home somehow.

Interesting trip home

Early the next morning, the brothers discussed the situation. Isaac solved the problem. Cheers filled the air at home. Tyler reestablished Plan A and disappeared out the door.

About midway in the trip, Isaac paused to cool the radiator. Blasting the heater, he continued on. A few miles from home, tension increased. Would he make it?

Busy at home, Mama remained oblivious to the exciting drive home.

Sisters yelled when the Celica coasted into the driveway, silent like his other brother’s electric car.

Details of the trip home soon emerged with the dramatic conclusion: “The car died just as I turned into the drive. At least I got home.”

Soon the college belongings lay strewn about the house. (Somehow they multiply over a school year.) I sighed. Yes, at least he was home.

No third chances

Determined not to worry, I continued with my chores. I figured my husband could figure out the problem and nurse it along while Isaac earned money to buy a dependable car. I forgot, however, about the vehicle dilemma the loss of this car created.

My husband is a talented repair man. He works miracles on aged vehicles all the time. Still, a little concern nipped my conscious. He took the Celica to work so Isaac could get to his new job. That’s when the Celica wheezed it’s last along the highway.

We should have known it was over on graduation. Hadn’t we only prayed for it to get Isaac through college? Didn’t it get him home, albeit with some stress? (Testing our patience, don’t you know?)

My mother-in-law rescued Pat since I attended piano lessons and didn’t know of the problem until later. Tyler took his truck and hauled it home.

One can never accuse us of lacking in persistence. Bless his heart; Pat continued to try to get it to run. Alas it was over for the old Celica.

It now sits at the salvage yard. Meanwhile, we search for a replacement.

In the future, I think we should pray for help in getting a replacement before the final demise. Cutting things so close like this causes my hair to gray faster!

Did you ever have a prayer with a deadline?

May all your vehicles get you where you need to be!

8 thoughts on “Old vehicle fulfilled contract

  1. Reading this message, I am reminded how God continues to work on me and help me become a better person. Just like the car was worked on to make it better, God works on me. 🙂

  2. Did we ever have prayer for a deadline? Just every time we go to Michigan, through Chicago, and each time we go to Texas to see our son and grandson.

  3. Such a familiar story! Our son drove a 92 Saturn for years, and we prayed it would hold on, too. First that it would hold on until he graduated college, and it did! Then that it would hold on until he had enough saved to purchase a *new* vehicle.

    It died shortly after the super-cold snap this past February. Guess it was tired of starting in -25F weather. 🙂 Our son didn’t quite have enough saved, but as I work at home, he was able to use my car until he found the right one. His *new* car is a 2004 Impala.

    Anyway, we were very grateful for God’s timing!

    1. Brenda, Our sons’ stories are similar. My son doesn’t have enough saved up yet, but he’s working on it. As long as I schedule my appointments not to conflict with my daughter’s schedule, we have enough to get everyone where they have to be. I just have to be careful to keep that in mind when I make appointments! LOL God has it all worked out in His perfect timing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your story reminded me of all the older cars we have had over the years. Most note worthy was an old van that our mechanic said, “Don’t drive it any further than you are willing to walk”! I get nervous with old cars. I guess we have had so many of them over the years and neither Dave or I are mechanics. Repairs get expensive. Loved your story.

    1. Thanks, Ellen, for sharing your thoughts. Yes, older vehicles do require lots of repairs. (sigh) Hopefully, we won’t have much of that for awhile now. It gets stressful. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I pray all your vehicles remain working well for a long time!

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