In 1985 I bought my first car…more accurately, I bought 1/2 of my first car and my dad bought the other half (I was staying home for my sophomore year of college & needed a ride.) It was a great car…a 1978 Ford LTD…basically a living room on wheels. In 1990, I drove back to my parents home after my first year in Albany, and the car died in their driveway. After that I brought my brother’s Nova. I married Liz & she brought her SAAB in to the relationship (a car she loved & I hated).
Now, if you become a university campus pastor and then a church planter, you have basically guaranteed that you will consistently drive hand-me-down cars or beaters. (And what you can do, to ensure you stay at that place, is when you start to see life be come a bit more stable financially, quit your job, give away most of your stuff and move to another country with no job.)
So, you can probably guess which part of the used car lot we’ve been strolling around these days. (turns out it is the part of the lot where the salesmen don’t even bother coming over to talk to you…unless as Liz noted, you happen to be tall, leggy and blonde…)
We test drove 1 (actually, Liz test drove, I stayed with Méabh) today…and were thinking about possibly moving on it…but decided against it…at least that’s the plan.
One other thing to know about buying cars in Ireland…you know how in the States, there are all kinds of car dealers, who sell the shiny new cars, as well as the kind that people like me buy. And there are also those dealers with a handful of cars and a makeshift sign on the side of the road… Over here the big auto dealers only sell the newer cars (basically nothing over 5 years old.) If you want something over 5 five years old, you go to one of these other places…so not only am I basically shopping for my first car in 30 years, I’m doing it in places that makes me see red flags all over the place.
But that is not the biggest problem.
You see that car in the picture above? That is a 2012 Audi.
When Liz and I reserved a car for a few weeks, we reserved a Volkswagon Passat. Through a series of events, we ended up taking over Liz’s sister’s rental…a 2009 Peugeot? (and does anyone actually know how to pronounce Peugeot?)
The day we took it over, the engine light was on (it was just like driving our old minivan). So we took it to the rental agency, they looked at it for 3 minutes and exchange the Peugeot for a 2012 Audi. It is probably the nicest car I have ever driven.
Seems like an amazing blessing right?
Now try this…hop in a brand new Audi and drive it around for a week…feel how it handles…how well it accelerates. Then, drive it down to the used car dealer, and test drive a 2005 Opel Zafira, and tell me you are going to be excited about driving that car off the lot. Not happening. I already struggle with contentment, and now I’m trying to pull this off (and what is up with the wet dog smell in all of these used cars? Liz says it decreases a bit when the car is moving.)
A quick house update…we were scheduled to look at a house in Raheny…very close to the girls school. But the agent lost the keys…(he is the second person to do that) He’ll let us know when he finds them.
So, right now, we don’t have a car…and we don’t have a place to live…(although it seems like the car will eventually be easier to resolve.)
Which might make you think we will be plugging away on these tomorrow…That is what we normally would do. However, we’ve had a strong sense over the past couple days that we needed to take a day, go somewhere and just have fun…and see what the Father does…so that’s what we are doing tomorrow.
We’d appreciate your prayers!