Today’s thoughts are about a situation that started yesterday and will be ongoing, so first I will have to tell you what the situation is.
Last week Pete took our 2005 Suburban in for its regular oil change, and The Guy In The Pit noted leaky differential seals. (If my terminology is amiss, it’s just because my knowledge of automotive matters is minimal!) So yesterday we drove it to the dealership that does all of our work for a quote and possibly repair. What we got instead was some bad news!
– Repair of just the seals, plus the rear brakes it needed, would be just shy of $1000
– Often the seals have already seized up by the time they’re discovered but they wouldn’t know until they “got in there” – if so, the front axles and everything connected would have to be replaced for about $2500
– BUT we should also take note that the frame is “getting soft” – a nice way, apparently, of saying it’s so rusty things will soon start falling apart.
Since the car is almost 16 years old, and since is has well over a quarter of a million miles on it, we opted not to have any work done on it. So it’s back home.
My thoughts today are about buying another car. We always buy used, with moderate to moderately high mileage – which keeps the cost lower – and lengthy service records, and we pay cash. Then we continue to do maintenance and repairs as needed until it no longer is cost effective. This has always saved us a lot of money over the life of the vehicle (while we own it anyway), over making car payments AND paying interest AND maintenance and repairs.
So, in preparation for starting the process with another vehicle – Suburban, or Suburban-esque, since we’re not brand loyal, I started browsing online ads and sites. And I was pretty shocked when I saw that the cost of typical used cars that we’d buy were about 3-4 times what they were just 4 (I think) short years ago! What, I wonder, is causing this jump?
In further research I did find some that were closer to what I would have expected to pay. But why? Was there a problem with these that I didn’t know about? Or were the high-priced cars just being sold by greedy people?
Here’s the thing that it all boils down to: Without relying on God to guide us, we have no way of knowing. As a former pastor used to say, none of this is a surprise to God! When we have prayed and depended on Him for guidance, He has never – you do know what NEVER means – let us down. What we have needed has been there, where and when we’ve needed it. Not a moment too soon and not a moment too late.
So while I look at the sites and wonder, I also know that I don’t have to worry about it. Trusting in God’s hand on my decisions is a way of life. He has been the one to choose the homes I’ve bought, the pets I’ve had, the vehicles I’ve driven – as well as most of the other decisions I’ve had to make. Most? Yes. Because sometimes I fail. Sometimes I make a move based on what I want rather than what He provides, because those 2 things aren’t always the same!
We don’t want to make a choice based on our wants, ever, and especially now that we will be choosing the car that will take us way up to the northern edge of the Upper Peninsula and back next month, through miles and miles of remote areas with hills and bends, with our 2 dogs and 2 parrots in the car, while towing a trailer. So yeah. My thoughts are that I must not give in to my desires and, like in all of life, trust Him to lead us to His perfect plan, and our perfect car.