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Dented Dreams

By Laura Bagby Producer"Where your treasure lies, so your heart will be also." I had heard the verse a million times, but in the span of one particular week, it became obvious what my treasure was -- and it wasn't spiritual or eternal.

On a weekly shopping trip, I embarked on a journey to a specialty grocery store. After spending an hour wandering down the aisles, I paid for my cartload of provisions and quickly exited the store. The wind was really starting to pick up and I could actually hear the wind howling through my open trunk as I haphazardly threw in the bags, trying desperately to keep my cart from rolling away and praying that I hadn't smashed my bread. I dutifully returned the cart to the cart return, ran to my car, and got in.

Then I saw it. There was a cart bumped up against my car. I was just going to drive away, but I thought I would hit the cart upon my departure, so I reluctantly got out of the car, grabbed the cart, and transported it back to the cart return, frustrated that I had to do what should have already been done.

Returning to my car, I casually paused to check for damages. I figured there might be a little scratch, nothing more. But when I looked, there was this big dent above my right front wheel -- I mean deep! I couldn't believe that much damage could have been done by a stray cart and a gust of fierce wind.

That got me. I don't deserve this! I thought. How dare someone leave a stray cart lying around on a windy day! Don't they know that there are always repercussions to their actions?

I felt violated. I felt completely insecure. A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have cared, but I have a new car that I am still paying for. Big dents do not happen to nice cars, I reasoned. Bad things shouldn't happen to good people.

Several days later, I went out in the rain to get some takeout. As I approached my car, guess what I saw? Another dent. Same side. Different location. This one was basically above my right rear tire. Not as bad as the first, but still glaringly obvious.

By this time I had lost it. God, what is going on? Where is Your protection? Why is this happening? Why all in one week?

I was scared, mad, livid. I felt vulnerable.

Through those two incidents, I have been learning a lot about where I have placed my trust. I admit that sometimes I trust in external things rather than God, and I don't even realize I'm doing it until a minor tragedy like this one makes it obvious. I wasn't trusting in His goodness or His provision. I realized that I was trusting in my abilities, in my finances, and in the nice things I had. But when those things got shaken, so did I.

Like my car, my faith had been severely dented, impacted with force, leaving a hollow that a shadow now filled.

Despite feeling pressed in, I knew that I should not be focusing on the bad that I was seeing. Despite the superficial damage to my car, my car still runs. The engine is unaffected. There is no fatal blow.

The same goes for my soul. My dreams, my hopes, my view of the world might have been dented, but my soul lives on. And I should praise God for that.

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