Monday, 2 November 2009

Modern times

When I left my home yesterday morning to go to Church it was to discover that my car’s engine would not start.

My pal Ben lives very nearby, so I was able to wander over to his home, and borrow his car for my trip to and from Church.

Just as soon as I arrived home I called “Triple A”. Their mechanic arrived promptly, and jump-started my car. I ran the engine for about 20 minutes. And two hours later the car was good to go.

This was not the case when I tried to use the car this morning. The engine would not start. It was then that I remembered that my Hyundai extended warranty plan allowed for free towing to the dealership, so I made a 'phone call and arranged a tow for later in the day.

In the meantime I walked to a stop to take a ‘bus to my Dentist’s Office for an 11:00 a.m. appointment. ‘Bus fares for seniors in Sarasota are all of 35 cents.

I never mind taking a ‘bus, just so long as I remember the cardinal rule which is “avoid eye contact with other passengers”. Failure to observe the rule can lead to unwanted and long conversations.

(There is an exception. It is perfectly safe to greet Mennonite women [identifiable by their bonnets]. They will greet you politely, but never attempt a conversation. Mennonites are a beautifully reserved people!).

I was in the Dentist’s chair for two hours, for the first leg of some extensive and expensive work. I’d been prepared for such a stint. But I’d neglected to bring along one or two friends who’d have been astonished to encounter a jmp who did not talk for two whole hours!

We have a more or less decent ‘bus service here, known by the unfortunate acronym “SCAT” (Sarasota County Area Transit).  I was pleased to leave the Dentist’s Office just in time to catch a 1:20 p.m. ‘bus home.

Failure to have done this would have led to a thirty minute wait. I got home by 1:45 p.m. in time for a late lunch.

Back at home, the tow truck arrived at the promised time to take my car to the dealership.

Next the air-conditioning engineer arrived at the time which his firm had promised, for a semi-annual preventative maintenance inspection.

I have a house. I have a car: with roadside service available through triple A, or through Hyundai’s extended warranty programme. I have decent medical and dental insurance, and I live in a town with any abundance of excellent dentists and doctors. With careful planning I can use the ’bus for necessary errands. My town also has excellent supply of first class contractors – I have been well served by a local plumber, electrician, painter, and tiler. There are three supermarkets, three banks, two post offices and two pharmacies within a mile of my home.

All this leads me to believe that I am in the top 1% of the most fortunate people in world, in terms of the goods and services which are at my disposal.

I want to stop whining. I pray to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I pray for an end to my sense of entitlement. I pray that I will practice a more just and joyful stewardship.


  1. Thanks for you post. Hope the dental work goes OK. A friend on FB issued a challenge to post at least one "grateful for" status every day in November. I'm following her lead because a girl could do worse. Mary

  2. Thanks for the reminder. I spend way too much time feeling ridiculously anxious over where I am going to get enough money to buy this week's groceries or pay my mortgage that I rarely take a minute to think about the luxuries I do have.
    Thanks again.