As Solomon said long ago: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-“ doesn’t happen often at our house! In fact, it seems that we get busier and busier as time goes on. Not that the things we are involved in are necessarily bad, but the harried pace and lack of sleep sometimes puts us behind the eight-ball. Our eldest son, Austin, has learned this the hard way. While trying to squeeze in a little more homework before going to play rehearsals seemed like a good idea to him, when he realized the time he flew out of the house and took off in his car. Or, more accurately, he tried to.
Back up a little over a year when the tragic accident happened with Stephen Curtis Chapman’s family. The horrific death of their adopted daughter caused by their teenage son in their own driveway struck a tremendous chord of fear in my heart. I used their tragedy as a teaching moment MANY times since then, especially since I had a teenage driving son and now adoptive daughters as well. Add an element of senior-itis that has been settling into Austin’s heart and mind for months—which led to a few discussions about his driving habits and my promises of taking away his keys if he didn’t improve. Fast forward to the present: I had reminded Austin twice that it was late and that he needed to leave. He chose to stay. When he did get up to go, he also chose to ignore my repeated warning about backing out and driving too fast, especially in our driveway since we have young children at play. Austin saw the car of a friend that was parked in the middle of the driveway and knew to steer around it, but cranked the wheel and gunned it in reverse. What he failed to remember was how the front of the car arcs out farther than the tires, and when the speed was added to the equation, it resulted in the fender being bent, the front bumper being ripped out, and the front left headlight being pulled away. The garage also sustained damage, but cracked siding and splintered wood were the smaller part of the problem. David thought it would be about 1k in damage, but his friend said it would be closer to 2k. Austin’s entire summer’s wages were on the line in a rash moment.
Why do I call this a veiled blessing? It goes against everything in me to welcome a financial burden! If you know me, I use coupons, shop sales, and pinch every penny that I can. From the moment this happened I have been overflowing with praise and gratitude to God! I believe to the bottom of my soul that God allowed a wake-up call for Austin, one that cost him his time and money but not his sister’s life. Hannah and Mandy were playing at the neighbor’s that afternoon, running back and forth between houses and across driveways. It cost him dollars, but our family is intact. Praise the LORD! Austin seems to have sobered through this ordeal. I don’t think I will hear his tires squealing in the cul-de-sac any time soon!
As it turns out, by doing the work ourselves and buying aftermarket products, the financial won’t be as steep. It will take several hours of work and learning. It will cost him a school’s month of wages, not his entire summer’s wages. He has gained an appreciation of his parents’ warnings. He also has changed his perspective on the cost of every day things, blessings he takes for granted, because they can be lost so rapidly.
In the midst of it all, when everything was up in the air and he thought his savings were drained, Austin made a hefty financial contribution to support a local Christian radio station. When the world would advise him to hold on to whatever wealth he had left, he in faith gave what he had to God. I asked him about it and he shrugged it off, saying it was what he needed to do. I am amazed at the strength of character my son is gaining. His faith has blessed me.God has blessed me, over and over.
All my best,