Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
TITLE: "Blunder to Plunder"
By Frank Salerni
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“Hold it, Hold it! I think I know what your problem is. Do you see that small hole in the line? That is going to cost you $65.00 to fix it right now. If you wait, because you don’t have the money to spend, it’s going to cost you $500.00 to replace the line in the near future.”
The mechanic was a friend of mine, and I knew that he wasn’t just blowing smoke. He had no reason to gouge me for more money; I always took my car problems to someone I could trust. I knew him from high school when he started to date my older sister, and now they were awaiting the birth of their first child.
“Ok, Tony. I’ll be back in a day or two right after payday.”
He was wiping the grease off his hands and stopped to allow the strong waterless soap to soak into his skin. The pungent orange aroma filled the garage as he looked at me with concerned eyes.
“Why don’t you let me fix the problem now, and you can square up with me later in the week.”
“Oh, I don’t like to do that, Tony. You never know what will happen during the next day or so. With my luck… who knows, I might get sick or have to leave town; anything might happen.”
“How do you plan on paying for a trip out of town, Bev? Do you have a stash of money set aside for such an emergency?”
Tony knew me much better than that. He knew I was barely getting by on my fixed income.
“Don’t let your pride get in the way of being blessed by me, Bev. God allows me to take care of a few of my best customers. He even allows me to help some I don’t even know. He has called me to use my talent of fixing cars to His glory, but you know that. It was greatly because of your encouragement that I even have this place of business. Do you remember what you said to me when I was trying to decide what I was going to do with my father’s inheritance? You said, “If it was up to me I’d let God bless the work of my hands. After all, He was the one who gave you the gift to be able to work on cars, didn’t He?”
“That was good counsel. You asked me one question that I will never forget.”
A tear started to bubble out of the corner of my eye knowing what he was about to say.
“You asked me if I could just get up in the morning and do whatever I wanted to do, what would it be. My answer was quick and simple… I would work on cars.”
“You told me that I was afraid of God’s blessings, that I couldn’t believe He would allow me to have my hearts desire. Do you remember my struggle just to do what I wanted to do? You called it robbing God of a blessing. What do you call me fixing your car when you don’t have the money to pay for it?”
By this time I was bawling. I needed to repent. Oh, I was good at giving advice, but proud enough to reject receiving a blessing.
Tony did the work. I paid him shortly after.
It may be better to give that to receive, but maybe that only because for me… it’s so hard to receive.
I’ll never know if the repair bill may have reached that projected $500.00 amount, but I know for sure that if I were struggling for the $65.00 I would have defiantly choked on the $500.00.
By the way, Tony let me pay for the repair, but then he gave me back the money and told me to buy my new coming relative a shower gift. It was hard to find a mobile made of soft plastic tools, but I succeeded.
I never thought that learning to receive would be so hard.
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