2009 ish. Austin, Texas. I drove a motorcycle – a Suzuki Katana 600. It was a beautiful bike.
I worked at Four Points Home Depot off RR620 in Austin. I lived just on the other side of Mansfield Dam. For those unfamiliar with this road, it is DARK. There are barely any lights, and it is a 60 MPH speed limit. It is a decently dangerous road. Oh, and did I mention much of this section of the road has a cliff next to it?
This night I was getting off work at 8pm, and I had this instinct that told me I should have left work 15 minutes early. I did not listen to it. When I walked outside at 8pm, it was sleeting outside, quite rapidly. It was raining ice! And it had just started about 10 minutes prior. That’s not the best weather to be on a motorcycle. I turned my bike on, and the headlights were out. No headlights, on a motorcycle. I’m sure the smart thing to do would have been to call for a ride – but motorcycles are hot for theft in Austin. I could not leave the bike there. So I hopped on and decided I was going to attempt to drive home.
I turned on my left blinker to have a little light, and I found a car that I could drive somewhat next to to be able to kind of see the road with its headlights. I could barely see through my helmet because of the sleet. I was scared. I genuinely thought I was going to crash and die. But I made it. I walked into my house, almost in tears from how scary of an experience that was. I was shook up. I decided that night I needed a car. I had not owned a car for many years, but I NEVER wanted to experience that again.
I was poor. I lived at my mom’s house and worked at Home Depot. I made about $10/hour. I checked my bank and I had about $600 to my name that I could spare. So I prayed and asked God to bring me a car for $600.
The Next Day
I drove my bike to work the next day. While at work, my boss Jon comes up to me and says “Hey Eric, do you know anybody that wants to buy a car for $600?” I was astonished. I had just prayed for that very thing the night before. Jon had a Dodge Neon that he needed to get rid of for $600. It was a stick shift. But it had one weird thing to it – it did not go in reverse.
I’m going to tell you a little about the adventures of the Dodge Neon. After I bought it, I had to get it inspected. With no reverse I thought this was going to be an issue. So I took it to the inspection place, and I literally prayed for the car to be able to pass inspection and go in reverse. At the end of the inspection, I watched the reverse lights come on with this car as the guy backed it out of the inspection bay. I was AMAZED!!
I hopped in my car, and drove off. I got to wherever I was going, and decided to test out the reverse. No go. There was no reverse. I was somewhat confused, because I just saw this thing go in reverse. But I was not able to make it happen again right there.
I was confused, and I actually had to do the old Flintstone style of driving. I would open the driver side door, put the car in neutral, and use my foot to push on the ground making the car go backwards. I did this for quite some time, until one day, I decided to lay hands on the car and pray over it. And somehow, reverse started working again.
This happened a number of times, me actually laying hands on my car and praying for it, reverse working for a while. Eventually it quit working, I would pray for it to work again, it would work again, and so on. This happened for probably the course of a couple of years, until one day my buddy Dan decided to help me with the car.
Dan took the protecting cover off the middle area with the stick shift. Dan showed me what was wrong with the car. The link from the stick shift to the reverse was completely missing – it had fallen down and was laying on the ground. We managed to use some chain to fix the issue, and I never had problems with the reverse again.
I loved that car. To this day I miss that car – but not because Dodge Neons are awesome. But rather because it was an answer to my prayer. God gave me a car for $600.