Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A car miracle

Sometime my devil’s advocate thinking is going to get me in trouble with someone.  Someone will be offended that I contradicted them or that I diminished the importance of their story.  I hope this doesn’t happen, but it might.  I would never intentionally hurt someone's feelings, and I've been contradicted before and it was fine—it didn't hurt me at all: I mentioned how I in the past had thought that I had received a prompting, which was apparently nonsensical, but I ‘trusted’ that it was indeed a prompting because, after all, god’s thoughts are not my thoughts and his ways not my ways (i.e. his logic is incomprehensible to me).  But, after later reflection, I realized that it wasn’t a prompting but rather my brain being crazy; it used to be common that when I had to make a decision, I actually assumed that I would get a prompting that would either confirm the decision or, more often, tell me to do something else.  This extended to stupid little decisions, about which I nevertheless expected promptings , thinking that somehow a small and simple occurrence would have far-reaching (eternal) consequences.  
Anyway, my point with this comment was that if a prompting doesn’t make sense, it may not actually be a prompting—in other words, use your head and don’t just assume that you don’t understand the prompting yet.  Right after I said that, a guy raised his hand and shared a mission story that I’ve already described in this post.  Even today, I still think that the prompting that he received on his mission was not a prompting at all, but I of course can’t really know that, and I know it’s presumptive to think that I can.

When I criticize people, or at least contradict them, I do believe that I’m more criticizing the idea and not the person as a whole.  It really is the idea I’m attacking—not the person.  So when I share stories that include comments I don’t like, please keep in mind that I’m not just dismissing anything this person could say.  With that said, this Sunday during fast and testimony meeting, a lady shared a story about a recent miracle.  Her car had been shaking, and she was worried that it was going to break down.  She couldn’t afford at this time to buy a new one and being without a car would be a hardship for her.  She did admit that really, she could make do without it—but it would of course really complicate things.  Well, she got an email from the bishop telling her about a couple several hundred miles away who was going to move out of the country and needed to give their car to someone; this couple was going to visit family in this particular lady’s town as a last stop and so would have to drop it off in that town.  She got in touch and agreed to take their car.  She was extremely grateful and couldn’t believe how well it was going to turn out. 

The lady ended by saying that she was especially thankful because, really, the car was a want and not a need.  She said that when we try hard and obey god will provide us with what we need, but this case was special because she also got what she wanted.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this car situation was as perfect as the lady thought it was: what if there was someone else in the area/ward who actually needed the car more?  Who had a real need of it?  Hopefully, the bishop would know who in the ward was in need, but I can imagine it’d be very easy to not know that someone was in want of a car if that person didn’t mention it, perhaps out of embarrassment.  I just couldn’t help but think that maybe there was a family in that congregation wishing that it was they who had gotten the car; but in what context would that be appropriate to speak up and say something to the lady afterwards?  I guess if the other person was really in need, they could talk to the lady about possibly buying the car from her?  It just seems like such an imposition to make. 

Maybe that lady was the one who was most in need for the car—but what if she really wasn’t?  How does the person who deserved it more feel—like god doesn’t love them, or perhaps they weren’t obedient enough?  The lady just made it sound like god knew exactly who needed the car and it worked out perfectly in her favor.

This is all speculation on my part.  If there is some accuracy in it though, there is someone out there who is confused that they didn't receive the blessing they needed.  But, from what I've observed, if that's the case they'll find something positive from the experience and eventually find a solution, for which they will be grateful and praise god.

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