Have you ever had something break down on the worst possible day, at the worst possible time? And to top it all off, these “mishaps” seem to happen all at once or when money is tight. Grr!!

A few weeks ago, I was pulling into our family church parking lot to attend the annual family reunion. There were no spots left except one spot with a light pole off to the side. I thought I had more than enough room to squeeze my short-nosed SUV in. I was correct…until…my bumper kissed some metal pieces hiding discretely at the bottom of the pole. There’s nothing like starting off the reunion with a curse word and the desire to bawl and throw up all at the same time. (And I did ask God for forgiveness on the explicative, but it was outside the church…)

From there it was easy to go off on the worst-case scenario that the body shop would probably want first-rights on my mortgage as I was walking through the church’s kitchen door. Then it kind of went in the direction of wanting to blame. Like, “Who would put a light pole there?!?!”… “Why didn’t the church put up a sign about the metal?!?”… “If it weren’t for my mother egging me on, I’d have pulled around back!”

After a few deep breaths, I came back to earth. I realized I was going very south very quickly and needed to pull it together. I started off by telling a few cousins about the mishap. Fortunately my family seems to have a deep background in insurance, so a couple of other cousins were able to give me advice. Long story short, it ended up being an insurance claim and the best of an unfortunate experience.

Now that I’ve rattled on about a seemingly insignificant life event, I had to do it to get you to the gold. As I was driving home in my second “new car” experience from the body shop, it hit me. The reason why things need replaced or repaired is because it gives us the opportunity to feel pure appreciation.

We get too complacent. Then we get ungrateful. The awesome sunroof on our car becomes the standard norm. We toss a jetpack in the dishwasher and go to bed. It’s normal for the temperature in our home to magically stay at 71 degrees all year long. Do you see where this is going?

We don’t notice how good things are until they break down.

During the break down, we go through the arc of emotions over the loss. Then we go to hope that it can be the way it once was. After the repairs or replacements are scheduled, we go to knowing that things will be okay. And finally, when we pull the car out of the repair shop, turn down the dial on the air conditioner, or push start on the dishwasher before drifting off to bed, we find ourselves in pure pleasure and appreciation that life is back to…normal.

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