Often times in ministry we live what we will one day teach or preach about. For the past few years I’ve gone through a lot of personal adjustments as a result of life’s daily challenges. The economy has affected me like many other people today. However I was preparing myself way before our current economic crisis. There was a time in my life where I always had to have some form of car payment or lease payment because I always wanted to be driving a nice car. Then about thirteen years ago I was struck with Fibromyalgia and no longer could do the things I once could. I was not prepared. During a three year period prior to my illness I had spent over $22,000.00 on car lease payments this was just poor money management on my part and poor financial stewardship of the resources that God had Blessed me with. However I learned from my mistake.
After the bank took last lease vehicle back I needed another car, this time I went about things differently. I always liked Buick Reattas and always wanted one. I saw one on a used car dealer’s lot and inquired about it. I made an arrangement with him in writing I made payments to him in several installments and after the final one drove the car off his lot paid in full. I still have the car and few years ago got a great paint job for it. When the transmission went out it sat until I could pay for its repair without going into debt. About two years ago it had some minor mechanical problems that I fixed only for it to break down again. At that point I said okay God what are you trying to show me.
Fibromyalgia requires me to exercise a lot mostly by walking just so that I can have a decent day health wise. I had been walking a lot to my office at the time getting exercise as well as saving money on gas. When the car broke down again I started to really evaluate things. First of all walking was good for me and saved gas but it was actually preparing me for today’s crisis. I had a good friend offer to repair it for me and agreed to let him do it but told him not to rush and do it. It has been almost a year and it still has not been repaired (my choice). I promised myself first that I would not repair it until I could pay at least six months to a year’s car insurance up front I grew weary of monthly car insurance payments.
The other thing I started looking into ways to actually increase the cars MPG. there are a couple of companies out there that are offering conversions for cars that will help them use less fuel by converting them to hybrids. Once the price of these come down and are dependable I’ll convert my car to a hybrid. In the meantime I purchased a bike, became a online scooter dealer, and I still walk. When I need a car I use my wife’s car. The parts to repair my car are only around $100.00 but I’m not going to repair until I have six months to a year’s insurance payments saved up and still I’ll only drive it when absolutely needed. I’ll walk, ride my bike or the scooter I’m soon to purchase.
We have choices in these tough economic times, it is not a sin to car pool, walk, ride public transportation, or buy and use a scooter. The actual sin may be in the use of gas guzzling and environmental polluting vehicles. These vehicles are not a good use of God’s resources. There is nothing in the Bible that condones waste and we in this country have been very wasteful. So the choice is yours what things that you probably did not need are you going to do without? What things that you really never needed are you going to get rid of? Jesus walked and did so from town to town. You can make your life less stressful and even enjoyable by learning to do without.