Sunday, July 14, 2013

God and Pickup Trucks

It has now been three years ago that my journey to beat lung cancer began. On July 5, 2010 is when my family doctor looked at my chest x-rays and observed that I still had pneumonia and referred me to the pulmonologist. Just twenty-five days later came the official diagnosis of lung cancer. In these last three years, I have learned a lot about God, Jesus, and myself. When I look back, I can clearly see where God has opened and closed doors as necessary and carried me when I needed it most. He has truly been involved in the biggest moments of my battle. But what about the small and not so large areas of my life? Does God really care about what I drive to work each day?

My Avalanche was getting a little long in the tooth, as they say. I had had it for ten years, and it had been a good truck. However, I was beginning to have the feeling that I was rolling on borrowed time. The Blue Book value had dropped low enough that, if I had to have it repaired, the cost could easily be twenty-five percent of the value of the truck, and I would never get that money back. I also thought that it would be good to have another vehicle to drive to Fayetteville and stop racking up the miles on DeLayne's car. Since I was not in a rush to buy anything, I felt like now would be a good time to start looking. I started doing my research and looking at used trucks on the dealer web pages to see what was available and for how much.

I found a 2012 truck on a dealer lot in Frisco and decided to stop after church on Sunday to check it out. When we stopped there after church, I found two trucks that would fit my needs. I knew it would be mid-week before I would be able to go test drive them, so on Tuesday I sent an e-mail to their internet manager and arranged test drives for Wednesday evening. On Wednesday evening, we drove over to the dealership for our scheduled test drives--only to find out, once we arrived, that the guy we were to see was on vacation and one of the trucks had been sent for recall repair work. I will just say that things went down hill from there. This dealership did nothing to improve the image of the stereotypical used-car salesman. After we left that dealership, we dropped by another dealership just to see what they had. They had one truck like I wanted and we drove it, but as I told them, I just wasn't ready to buy that night and had other trucks I wanted to look at. After we got home Wednesday evening, I was feeling like I should just stick with my old truck, but as I lay in bed, I just asked God that if it was time to buy a new truck that he would direct us to the one for us.

Thursday, July fourth, I looked at more web pages of dealers down in Richardson and along I-75 in Dallas. I found one truck worth looking at and we drove down. Once we got to the dealership, DeLayne noticed some damage on the truck bed, and we found where the back of the truck was also damaged. I lost interest really quick and told the salesman that I was not going to pay that much for a damaged truck. We got back in the Avalanche and just started heading down 75 toward Dallas to look in other car lots. When we got to one dealership, I said to DeLayne, "I forgot about these guys," and out of the corner of my eye, I saw two Chevy trucks on the lot. We pulled in and were met by a salesman as we got out. I told him that I wanted to look at the used trucks, and we started walking toward them. When we reached the Chevys, he said, "Here is a 2013 with just 5500 miles on it." We looked it over and liked what we saw, and I asked if we could take it for a drive. He said he would go get the keys. While he went to get the keys, DeLayne and I discussed the deal that we would try and get and what we wanted the bottom-line number to be. After the test drive, I asked the salesman to work up a deal for us to look at and still saying that I was not sure I was ready to buy. He took the keys to my truck for them to do an appraisal, and I thought, "Oh boy, now the fun begins." After about fifteen minutes, he returned with a completed deal sheet and went through it. When he told us the bottom line number, I about fell out of the chair. Their initial offer was within $57 of where we wanted to be. He asked, "What do you think about that?" I wanted to say, "Sold!" but responded with, "You are really close to where I want to be." I quickly decided to see what would happen if I were to use one of the old car sales tactics on them, shaved $557 off of their number, and told him I would buy the truck that day, if they hit that number, including tax/title/license. He walked away and came back in five minutes and said, "Chris, you just bought a truck."

As it turns out, the truck I bought was only two months old. The original owner had bit off more than he could chew on the payments and traded it for a less expensive car. The truck is much nicer than the first truck we had looked at, and the final deal was much better than we expected--it was less than the quote we had been given for two 2011 trucks with almost 26,000 miles on them! I have stopped believing in coincidence a long time ago and believe that God was just as involved in this as He is in my fight against cancer. I believe it so much that I have nicknamed my new truck The Miracle Truck. God cares about every detail of our lives and wants better for us than we can imagine; even when it comes to what we drive to work.