Sometimes God throws a curveball and it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not. I had a not-so-fun curveball this past weekend in the form of a car wreck.
Setup: I’m in Charleston for the weekend to catch up with friends and family. The incident in question is on Saturday.
Scenario: slick roads, wet Evan. The guy in front of me was going too slow for my tastes (turns out he was the smart one), so I went around him and tried to pull back into the lane and turn onto the freeway. I pulled into the lane, but I went into the curve so fast the car drifted and I ended up hitting the wall at about… oh, 15 MPH.
Initial assessment: bent rim on tire (could be bad), missing hubcap (who cares?), missing cover on turn signal (again, who cares?), and punctured windshield washer fluid tank (never worked anyway). I managed to limp home and discovered the bent rim was indeed bad. Very bad. I limped over to the tire place only to have them tell me I needed a new rim. It’s Saturday afternoon; all the wheel places are closed until Monday.
I had planned to get back to Greenville Sunday night. So much for that…
By that evening I had pretty much resigned myself to the fate. There was some talk about me hitching a ride back to Greenville with someone, but that never materialized. The overwhelming consensus of those who had seen the car was that the wheel was pretty much the only thing wrong. All I needed to do was get a new rim, get the tire installed on it, and get out!
Monday morning, the phone calls begin. Place number one doesn’t have the rim. Place number two isn’t answering the phone. Honda dealership number one doesn’t have it. Honda dealership number two doesn’t have it. They offer to order it for $140. My response. The Boss (my dad) suggests calling salvage yards. Before I do, though, place number two calls me back. They’ve got it, and it’s only $46. Score.
Here’s where things get a little frustrating. Mom suggests that since Unnamed Tire Company referred us to Place Number Two, we should let them install the tire and do the alignment. They end up charging me twice as much as the (Christian!) business down the street. When asked why, they claimed the place down the street only does “part of the alignment.” Bulls–t. It ended up being just shy of $100 there to have the tire installed, the old wheel disposed of (I wanted to hang it on my wall, dangit!), and the alignment done.
And it’s not over yet. I ended up having to drive it back to the place because of some noise coming from the wheel in question. They gave it the twice-over and concluded that the car was safe to drive; I should get my brakes checked before too long, though.
I end up not being ready to leave until 6pm. But my good buddy the rain had returned, and apparently I’m not the only person in Charleston that doesn’t know how to drive in the rain. There were several accidents that tied up traffic until I was well out of Charleston. Finally made it back to Greenville around 10:30, too tired to even go grab some Smirnoff.
I’m still recovering emotionally. I’m still trying to decide if it’s resignation I feel, or if it’s just a refusal to stay put, or if it’s anger/resentment toward God. Honestly, I don’t know. Obviously, there’s a reason it happened. (For one thing, I was able to sell my old camcorder to some podcaster for $150, so that covers everything. If I had left Sunday, I couldn’t have made the sale.) The problem is, I don’t know what the reason is, and every reason I come up with isn’t good enough. Unless, of course, God’s trying to teach me something about myself — and by extension, Him.
Lesson: God is God, and I’m not. This is the one thing that I know.