Tuesday, I had about an hour of down time, and I figured that it would be the perfect time to go get a haircut. I had just enough time before my last German class to go, but the best laid plans… As I drove into the shopping center that google tells me is called “Brigham’s Landing,” the front of my car scraped the asphalt as it often does in the ridiculous parking entrances around here, and I screamed “I HATE PROVO!” It came out before I could even think about it. That’s what we actors call a “raw edge” moment.
But the Lord seemed determined to make sure that I couldn’t hate Provo by the end of the afternoon. When I came out from the haircut, my car, which had been fine prior to going inside, would not engage into drive, only roll backward when I tried to accelerate. I immediately called my Dad, because that’s my answer for all things troublesome, but before he even picked up the phone, two girls had come by to help me try to push the car back into a parking spot.
A third man showed up just as quickly, and though his back wouldn’t allow him to help push, he immediately helped steer the car into place. Three angels, out of nowhere, ready to help me, and here in Provo . Talking to my Dad, we assessed that it probably had something to do with my failure to check the oil—ever. I got off the phone momentarily to open the hood and check the oil, and when I couldn’t get the hood open, another angel was there in moments, ready to open it and also remind me where the oil dipper thing was.
When I finally did get to a gas station to get some oil (I had to buy two quarts of it), I didn’t know which type was needed and this random guy, who wasn’t even in the store, walked in the door and directly up to me and explained it to me. This town that I allegedly hate is sure chalk full of people ready to help me. Even my Dad, who was the main assistance via phone, was born in Provo . Really, the only outsider was the car, who was the one causing the problems.
I admit that it made me feel about 12 years old to have to have every detail spelled out to me, but let’s be honest, age 12 was not all that many years ago for me. I guess this whole experience was a testimony to me of a few different things. I’m in college (and not a freshman anymore by a couple of days), but I’m not nearly as innovative and independent as I pretend to be.
Then there’s that whole “bloom where you are planted”, aka don’t spend energy loathing Provo just because they have paving issues. Mostly, I learned that God is in the details. It’s something I’ve always known, but He feels the need to remind me often and, frankly, I need to be reminded. I missed German that day, but the car broke down when it was a nice spring day, and there were seven people in place to help me at different intervals of this car care process. If it had happened even 24 hours later, it would have been in the snow, with little chance that anyone was outside and in a position to be of assistance.
My crumby crash course in car maintenance was something of a hassle, but I had no one to blame but myself. I’m the one who neglected the oil like it was my job, despite being taught and repeatedly reminded to check it. Sometimes we unwittingly cause little trials in our own lives, and yet the Lord is right there ready with spring weather and seven angels and an understanding German teacher to help.