as i've been thinking about my situation with the a/c in my car going out, it has occurred to me that there is a parable here. a deeply powerful and spiritual one. first i will start with a story my car situation reminded me of, then i will relate it to me, and finally i will relate it to my Savior and his atonement.
this story is by stephen e robinson and is called the parable of the bicycle :
"I was sitting in a chair reading. My daughter, Sarah, who was seven years old at the time, came in and said, “Dad, can I have a bike? I’m the only kid on the block who doesn’t have one.” Well, I didn’t have the money then for a bike, so I stalled her. I said, “Sure, Sarah.” She said, “How? When?” I said, “You save all your pennies, and soon you’ll have enough for a bike.” And she went away. A couple of weeks later I was sitting in the same chair when I heard a “clink, clink” in Sarah’s bedroom. I asked, “Sarah, what are you doing?” She came to me with a little jar, a slit cut in the lid, and a bunch of pennies in the bottom. She said, “You promised me that if I saved all my pennies, pretty soon I’d have enough for a bike. And, Daddy, I’ve saved every single one of them.” My heart melted. My daughter was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions. I hadn’t actually lied to her. If she saved all of her pennies, she would eventually have enough for a bike, but by then she would want a car. I said, “Let’s go look at bikes.” We went to every store in town. Finally we found it—the perfect bicycle. She was thrilled. Then she saw the price tag, and her face fell. She started to cry. “Oh, Dad, I’ll never have enough for a bicycle!” So I said, “Sarah, how much do you have?” She answered, “Sixty-one cents.” “I’ll tell you what. You give me everything you’ve got and a hug and a kiss, and the bike is yours.” Then I drove home very slowly because she insisted on riding the bike home."
i LOVE this story! sarah did her best and her dad made up the rest. this fits perfectly for the situation with my car. i was talking with susan yesterday in our session and i told her that i really feel like i am making some excellent progress in my life. i am on a steady incline - working everyday, exercising regularly, going on outings daily, participating in new activities, being creative, doing things i enjoy, using my skills, and my list could go on - and for the first time in many months i have been continuously happy. i feel like this is me at my best. i am not making a lot of money doing these things. learning a lot does not always equal paychecks in a monetary sense. when i found out the dollar amount of what it would cost to repair my car i felt ill. i simply did not have the money. my dad was there when i found out and the first thing out of his mouth was, "i can split the cost with you." that became the solution! his generosity took me from ill to ok! i was then able to use my skills to cope with my feelings on unexpectedly spending so much money on my car. i feel like what was required of me in the moment was the same required of sarah : rachel, what do you have? "x amt of dollars.... give me all you have and i will make up the rest. a father is happy to help out his children." those are the exact words he said to me. i will never be able to pay my dad back - maybe one day monetarily - but for his attitude of generosity - i can only hope to carry that spirit on to my children.
and now, what has me really thinking : the example these two fathers set pointing towards what my Savior Jesus Christ did for me. he suffered and died for my sins. he made it possible for me to return to live with him and my heavenly father one day. and this is what he asks, "rachel, what do you have?" "my best efforts, which are a willing heart and trying my best to be like you every day." "then that's enough and i'll make up the rest." i love what stephen robinson said later in the article he wrote : "We may not be personally perfect yet, but because of our covenant with the Savior, we can rely on his perfection, and his perfection will get us through."
i feel incredibly blessed to have such an amazing dad who loves me and takes care of me. i feel so blessed to have a Savior who watches over me and blesses me at every turn. my life is worth living.