I have learned that you don't miss something until it is gone. Unfortunately, sometimes, it's too late.
Over six weeks ago, or was it nine months, I took my truck in for a regular checkup. I was going away for the week, so I thought I would drop the truck off and let them work on it when they had time, and then when I come back, it would be ready.
I love it when a plan comes together?
My family went up to Georgia for a family reunion. It was also a time to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Time goes by when we're not really focused on what's happening. That's me to a T.
I took it in on Monday, then we left for our family reunion, and on Tuesday, the machine shop called me with some rather sad news. The engine in my truck was just about finished. So I had a choice of getting a new engine or buying another truck.
The last idea wasn’t a good one for me.
After some serious thought, I agreed to have a new engine put in the truck. After all, the cost would be a fraction of what getting another truck would be.
I didn't know how much I liked my truck until it was gone for six weeks.
During those six weeks, my wife and I shared her little van for our travels. We had to coordinate our schedule so we could be united.
The scheduling was something like this.
She would drive her van, and I would go along when we would go to church or some other function that we had to be together. So that wasn't too bad.
Then, when she had to go somewhere, she would use her van. Sometimes she would drop me off at the church office and then go on her schedule and then come back and pick me up. That wasn't too bad.
When she had nowhere to go, and I had somewhere to go, I would then be driving her little van. I did not know how little this van was until I started driving it.
When I'm on the passenger side it is not too bad. I can squeeze in and survive. But when I'm on the driver's side, that was a completely different story.
Everything about her van was completely different from the things in my truck.
Driving that little van was a very challenging job. I did not know how hard it was for a real man to drive a sissy van.
I could barely get in on the driver's side, get all buckled up and ready to go. Everything had to be changed, like the mirrors, the seat and the steering wheel.
If I thought getting into that little van was difficult, all I had to do was wait until I had to get out, and that was a completely different story. Several times I actually fell out because there is no real structure for a man my size.
I am surprised I was not involved in some accident for those six weeks of driving that little van. If that would've happened, I probably wouldn't be able to get out of the van.
For the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, that little van is an ideal vehicle, and she drives it like the expert she is.
I was getting a little nervous about my truck. It would only take three weeks to get the engine and have it installed and get everything fixed up to run. But, unfortunately, those three weeks graduated into six weeks. I was afraid I would never see that truck again.
I didn't know how much I really liked that truck until I was driving this little sissy van. In the truck, I could be myself, but in that little van, I could not be myself, that's for sure.
There's a lot of things I miss in life, but I don't realize how much I like something until it's gone. I didn’t know I liked my truck as much as I did. Then when it went to the mechanic's garage for six weeks, I realized how important that truck is to me.
Then this past Tuesday, I got that telephone call I was impatiently waiting for. The truck was ready, and all I needed to do was come by and pick it up. But, of course, that meant I needed to pay the bill for the repairs.
When I hung up the phone, I was really excited.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage looked at me and said, “Why are you so excited?”
I just looked at her and smiled.
“Oh,” she said with a grin, “your truck is ready.”
My wife has said many things down the years, but this was the best thing she's ever said in all of our life together.
She drove me to get my truck, and as we were traveling, she looked at me and said, "You really missed your truck, didn't you?"
I thought of a verse of Scripture along this line. “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 John 1:8).
I really don’t appreciate what I have until I lose it. This is also true of people. We don’t realize how much a person means to us until they are gone.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with his wife. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]