Since relocating from Brooklyn, New York to Atlanta, Georgia I have had one consistent friend — Uber. But if you’ve ever become as closely acquainted with Uber as I have over the last few months, you’ll discover his friendship is costly and an expensive counterfeit to one of my first goals since arriving in the south — owning my own car.
In October, a month after relocating, I was clear that this purchase should be my primary goal after a family member needed medical care and my only option was to resort to my bestie, Uber, rather than being able to offer her a ride to the hospital myself. But the flurry of the holidays and trips to new cities, overshadowed this goal until February of the new year when I felt grounded in Atlanta — there were no immediate trips to new cities in sight. While asking God for clarity about what should be my next goal, I distinctly remember knowing there was a green light for a car purchase. Little did I know, God would be so involved in this journey to a new ride…
On the last Saturday in February, I expressed to friends that I was praying for wisdom to purchase a car. My plan prior to that point was to purchase a pre-owned vehicle but over the previous weeks kept sensing the Lord was directing me to consider purchasing a new car. Additionally, although I was planning to purchase a vehicle with a subtle yet distinct color such as blue or green, over the previous weeks, the only cars that were consistent with my requirements in terms of the model and updated safety technology were red at each dealership that I visited. In fact, every car that each salesperson showed me on their lots that met my expectations was red.
The day after my friends prayed for wisdom for me concerning the purchase, I attended a church service at Word of Faith Cathedral led by Bishop Dale Bronner. To my amazement the title of Bishop Bronner’s message was, “A New Ride.” I was delightfully flabbergasted but not only was this his title, but the image that accompanied his teaching and presentation was that of an old blue car that transitioned into a shiny brand-new vehicle. And just look at the color of the new car?!
But the icing on the cake for me was when Bishop Bronner read from a specific text as part of the foundation for his teaching that Sunday: “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here” (Luke 19:30 NIV). While reading the text, Bishop Bronner said, “I want to ride what no one has ridden” to emphasize the idea that Jesus wanted a donkey that had not yet been ridden. Again, I was stunned. I am not used to the opportunity to apply a text so literally to my decision-making (and would caution against an overly literal interpretation of biblical texts). But I understood the proximate occurrence of this reading on the heels of the prior day’s prayer request to be an unexpected confirmation of the Lord’s guidance.
After service ended, once the week began, I reached out to another dealership to learn more about the cars they had for sale. I was still considering the idea of a pre-owned vehicle but when I asked if there were any new cars available, the salesman sent me a picture of the only option he had and it was…you guessed it…a red car. Again, I was stunned. Needless to say on March 1st, I drove my new red car home and am still amazed by this turn of events. But this story is not without hiccups — in fact I initially planned to purchase the car on February 28th but decided it best to return to the dealership the following day after considering my options fully. Also, two weeks prior I had attempted to avoid purchasing a car by renting one. But it broke down five days later. I learned through this experience that renting could not work for me — had renting worked, I never would have been pushed to purchase my own vehicle.
I share this account with you to remind you that God’s word is true — he cares about the seemingly mundane affairs of our lives and he will not allow the lesser option to remain a substitute for his best. He’s that good and he’s that thoughtful. He is in fact a friend.
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” — Psalm 37:23 NLT