I currently drive a 2002 burgundy mini-van. Since we had two boys at the time, we bought it with no frills, no fuss, no leather, and we paid it off in 3 years straight - with no interest! After we paid it off, instead of putting our car payment cash into another savings account, we started living off the money and not really putting it aside for a rainy day.
Well you can guess what happened, a few months ago I noticed the van just wasn't running right. It starts, it drives...just not as good as it use too. I know...I just won't drive it to LA. I'll baby it. I'll keep it for around town only. Then a few weeks ago one hot afternoon...it made a jerking in the street. I told my husband...he said he'd look at it. He didn't. No time...but since it's running...it's o.k.
Well it broke down totally a few weeks back. It wouldn't even go in reverse. My husband somehow got the van home - by only driving forward. Then the next day it SEEMED fine. He took it out to pick up some youth since it was running. He drove it into the church parking lot and parked in his usual space. He put more kids in the van and they were planning on working at another church for the evening. When he got back into the van to back up... there was total stillness. This van wasn't going ANYWHERE!
A tow truck, a savings cleaned out, and a new transmission, new brakes, and a radiator later...we have our van back. It rides o.k. but it's not running just quite the same.
All those little hints that something was wrong with the van were totally ignored. We didn't have time to look at the van. We didn't want to pay for a tune up so we did it ourselves. We ended up spending a whole week with someone looking at our van and we really paid for it. You know we do the same with our lives. We get ourselves into problems, sins, and situations and then we lament when God allows consequences for situations we've created ourselves. Time and attention to people or problems are ignored...and now we don't like what we've reaped. Hebrews 12:7 says "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" Not all trials are our own doing...but a good many of them are.
The next time something happens to us we don't like...remember it could be some good ole' fashioned discipline - Jesus Style!