Monday, February 11, 2008

Planning for Failure

I have just spent the last half hour or so working out the mechanics of how to do all the things I need to do today and for the early part of the week without the use of the car.

I have never been very prompt about things like MOTs and after lots of nagging from my husband (who doesn’t drive, I have to add), I finally got around to arranging for the car’s MOT this morning. I was faintly alarmed to find out that the garage just did MOTs. There were no racks of tyres just in case of too little tread, no interesting shaped boxes anywhere to cover exhausts and brakes and stuff.

My first thought after surrendering the keys was, “When it fails….where can I take it and how long will they take to fix all the bits that need fixing?” The mechanic assured me that he knew a few people. In all my car owning and driving years I have never had a car pass the MOT first time around.

The next hour was spent kicking around the town, drinking tea, checking my watch and checking that my mobile phone was switched on. It’s a Monday, a Weight Watchers weigh day, so cakes and tea were not on the menu!

I went to the library and got myself a pin number to play on the library computers for a while. There was a notice about switching off mobile phones. I knew that my phone was not switched off and felt very ill at ease and didn’t use up my allotted minutes.

I am not good at waiting! Eventually I decided to head back to the garage.

I was just a street away when the mobile broke into song. The mechanic told me the car was ready to collect. It has passed. Not with flying colours I hasten to add. There was something about the nearside front suspension that right now was fine, but probably would need some attention in the not too distant future.

So, with my mind all busy on covering the bases “when she fails”, I hadn’t given much thought about passing. In my minds eye I had already spent a huge amount on replacing bald tyres and brake pads!

Anyone who cared to flick their front room nets and look out that morning would have seen me doing a short but very heart felt happiness dance on the pavement!

Part of my problem is that I don’t know enough about my car. I find it challenging enough to find the right hole to pour the oil into. I don’t know where all the bits fit together and what things should look like under the bonnet.

When I think about God, and His reaction to my reaction to the trials that test my faith – I can know that He is not planning for failure. He is not thinking about how to “fix” the myriad things that could go wrong. God knows what goes on in the deepest parts of me – those parts that are too deep for me to have an inkling about.

When I get tested, it is not to see which parts of me will break. It is to see which parts of me remain in tact – so that I can know just how strong my faith is, and do my little happiness dance on the pavement.

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