Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"God, I just need a little help...."

I love working in my garage. I have a better than average collection of tools even though you can never have enough. There are saws, wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers, etc. in my workshop and being a fixer by nature, I enjoy using them.
This week, I was presented with my once a year challenge of putting brakes on my truck. I have replaced these several times with almost no trouble what so ever so I didnt think that this would be a challenge at all. I would be done with this right after dinner.

How wrong I was.

I took off the left wheel and removed the brakes. The first side was almost impossible to get off and twice as hard to get back on. It was so tight that the wheel would not even spin. Huge red flag there is a problem. Never the less, I moved on to the right side, removed the tire and then the problems really began.

The right side brakes wouldnt budge. After several feeble attempts, I called my dad for help. He told me how to free up the brakes but they still did not come off easily.
Once I had them off, I thought this is going to be the downhill slide. It should be easy from here.

Again, how wrong I was.

The right side wasnt even close. I tried many times and it was like the brakes were too big. The problem was right there in front of me but I was too focused on finding the easy quick fix that I didnt even try to find out what the problem was. I fussed, even cussed a little bit, slammed my head against the fender, smashed all 10 of my fingers, stomped my feet, walked away and back again with no success. The brakes were not going on and daylight was long gone. I was working on the side of my truck near the wall so I had a shortage of workspace and shortage of light.

I walked away. I went upstairs and calmed down, got some water and just gathered my thoughts. There had to be a reason this wasnt working. So I went back and looked at how the brakes work and what was different.

I found out that the problem was a frozen guide that wouldnt allow the brakes to move. Once I found this, I knew that this was the problem with the other side also. I called my boss, told him I would not be in the next day and planned on looking for these parts.

Not a single parts house in the Atlanta area had what I needed to repair my brakes. Frustration level went up another notch. So I made plans to take the existing parts in to work, put them in the vice and use that to help remove the existing pins.

The next morning, today, I get in to work, check on things out as far as my job goes and walk back into the shop to use the vice. No luck, the vice that went into the spot on the workbench where there were 4 empty bolt holes and a shadow of where the vice used to be, was gone. Frustration level up another notch probably two.

I went back to my desk, put my head in my hands and said the words, "God, I just need a little help." I called around town and found a parts house that could order them and have the parts I needed tomorrow. Problem solved I thought.

About this time, one of the techs that works for me pulled up. He had brought me some chemicals to hopefully free up the existing pins. Thirty minutes, two pipe wrenches and a torch later, he had both pins out of the brackets. God had sent me a little help. What is ironic is that He LITERALLY sent me a little help. Manny, the tech who helped me out, is our shortest technician. He is a good Christian man and he and I have had a lot of conversations about our faith. God sent him, a "little helper", to give me a little help this morning. Once I realized this, I cracked up and had to journal this.

Moral of the story, be careful what you pray for. You might get what you prayed for LITERALLY!!!!

Dear God,
Once again, I have tried to do things my way thinking that I can do or fix anything. You have brought me down to earth again and showed me that I can't do it all. Everyone needs help from time to time and life would be so much better if we just stopped, relaxed and turned our problems over to you. Help me to remember this when the next "brake job" comes up.

Keith

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