Thursday, September 04, 2008

Vehicle of Faith

Saturday, August 30 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I'm sitting in the showroom of a local car dealership. It's been a long day of car buying. Nearly eight hours long.

Although the quintessential auto-purchase experience in terms of time spent (why does it have to take so long!?), my day here belies all stereotypes about car salesmen. Brad and Kelly, my salesman and his sales-manager boss, have been warm, engaging and genuine.

Still, I'm exhausted and stressed.

After two failed attempts at car-buying in recent months, I was reluctant to give it a third try, even as I knew it was time for a new vehicle.

Then, seemingly from nowhere, I got an e-mail and follow-up call from this particular dealership. They claimed they were responding to an internet request for information -- a request I have no memory of having made.

I put them off for several weeks, somewhat gun-shy after my previous experiences. Finally, today, I relented, no longer able to ignore the many synchronicities of the situation (not to mention the end-of-season discounts).

Now, the test drives are done, the credit apps have been processed, we've negotiated back and forth on terms and down payments and I'm staring at final figures -- the figures I said I would need to see in order to make a decision today.

When I drove in this morning, I asked Spirit for a sense of what a new monthly car payment would look like. Not surprisingly, the resulting figure pushed my financial comfort-zone buttons...just as a comparable figure had three years ago under similar circumstances. Yet I knew that if I acted today from a place of trust, centeredness and integrity I would be taken care of, as I always have been.

The "final figure" now before me is uncomfortably higher than the one I sensed this morning. Yet despite my fears, I know I must say yes. Not because I've been worn down after eight hours in this shabby showroom. But because all my higher senses tell me to.

I say yes.

When I get home, I’m so fearful and frazzled I can't get out of the garage and away from the new car quickly enough.

I spend a restless evening and sleepless night mired in doubt and distress and wake up exhausted and barely functional. Fortunately, pep talks from a couple of friends give me the courage to begin to take ownership of the vehicle. I browse through the manual, marveling at all the gadgetry, and call my insurance company to switch my coverage.

And then the phone rings. It's Dana, the dealership's finance manager. My heart sinks.

Eight years ago in Hawaii, I drove a new car home from the lot only to get a call the next day from the dealership, sorrowfully advising me that I would need to kick in more money or the deal was dead.

I had warned the Albuquerque dealership that if that were to happen here, I would return the car.

"Yes?" I answer tentatively.

"Could you come down to the dealership this afternoon?"

Oh, God, I gasp silently. "Why?" ask hesitantly.

"We'd like to lower your monthly payment."

"What?"

"We’d like to lower your monthly payment."

A few hours later, I’m back at the dealership, signing a new set papers. My interest rate has dropped by a third, my payment has dropped 14 percent, and my new monthly payment is within the range I had (erroneously, I thought) predicted.

As I drive home, considerably lighter-feeling than during the same drive yesterday, I think of the journey of trust the biblical Abraham went through when God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

A man of infinite faith, Abraham began to prepare for the unthinkable and unconscionable. Only when his knife was a whisper away from Isaac’s throat did an angel appear, praising Abraham for his faith and releasing him from his vow.

I feel like Abraham right now.

During the past 24 hours, my faith has also been stretched beyond all reasonable limits. Like Abraham, the only thing I have been asked to give up is my fear.

Now, having let it go, I have been rewarded for my trust and am free to move forward on the next leg of my journey -- in my vehicle of faith.

Art by Marc Chagall: "Sacrifice of Isaac," Musée Marc Chagall, Nice, France

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

inspiring, best wishes!!

Tarot By Arwen said...

Fabulous. I need to shut up and let Spirit speak to me about this job hunt. I know what I want but I am afraid it wouldn't sustain me. I think I'm letting fear rule instead of spirit. Timely thing for me to read today.

Mark David Gerson said...

Keep the faith, Arwen, and remember that Spirit, not your job, is the source of your supply.

bleuet said...

Another of those tough days.. huh... well yes that little voice in us is speaking often but we do not hear it all the time.. in silence you will know the truth...
Have faith all will go well.
Gardez la confiance et tout ira bien!

SpiritCoachSteph said...

Mark David --
I LOVE posts like this! Wanna know why? Because I'm NOT ALONE! : ) I've written a post or 2 for my blog that are very similar! and indeed have recently undergone a very similar spiritual "test" and not entirely sure I'm completely out on the other side just yet!

Thanks for sharing as always from your authentic self. I honor and respect you very much for that!

Namaste,
Stephanie Bell the Spirit Coach
http://twitter.com/SpiritCoach

picture to words said...

that sounds good ..to have confidence in spirit and to move things in an innerromm till it fits ..needs time or not ....love you .. just as it itis ...andrea (facelook hahha)

Angel-Light Love said...

As always, you warm my heart and bring the love front and center with your inspirational posts. Thank you so much for being you and sharing so personally with us!

Mark David Gerson said...

Silvia & Andrea: Faith is the only true currency. (You might enjoy Revelation, from a few years back.)

Stephanie & Angel-Light: Thanks for your comment. It always feels to me as though sharing our own challenges, opportunities and other experiences is the best inspiration we can offer to others.

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Good post Abraham - or are you Mark? lol - I've felt like the sacrifice was way to high many times myself, only to step forward in faith and be rewarded.

Enjoyed this.

Marvin D Wilson, author
blogs at: http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/
eye twitter 2 - http://twitter.com/Paize_Fiddler