On a Wing and a Prayer

While we were at the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside last week,
I accidentally captured this photo of a bird in flight.
Seconds before the shutter, the bird was sitting on the head of the Christus.


We got home in the middle of last night from our family reunion/vacation. It was way more reunion than vacation. The phrase “on a wing and prayer” was forefront in my mind this morning as I reflected on our safe travels. Our car is fourteen years old and after putting in the necessary $600 in repairs and using up most of our short-term savings before we left, the check engine light still came on while we were in San Diego.  When we pulled out of our driveway last Wednesday, I had prayed for the miracle that whatever was to happen with this sad car, I would be able to handle it within our very limited budget. I told God that I would go without a car all together when we got home if it just meant that He would get us there to be with my parents as it was so important to them to have their whole family there. If a running car wasn’t in His plan for us, I asked Him to let me accept it with dignity.

When we arrived without any breakdowns my prayer was all gratitude. Then while in SanDiego when the car wouldn’t start, I prayed for more patience and an angel arrived at my moment of most frustration. We discovered that CA legislation wouldn’t allow Auto Zone to run the free computer diagnostic and that it would cost us $85 at a mechanic’s shop to do something that we are accustomed to doing free at home in Utah. We decided to chance it without figuring out what was going on. On our way home, we pulled over in the middle of nowhere in Southern Utah to look at the beautiful stars and we noticed the car smelling funny but kept going on a wing and a prayer. I was almost in shock when we pulled back into our driveway last night without ever seeing a mechanic.  I then prayed in gratitude again to the best mechanic of all who had watched over us. I fully expect that whenever I finally get unpacked and out from under the mounds of dirty laundry and go out to the car to get groceries that it won’t start at all, but it will be o.k. I know that God watched over us when it mattered most.

I don’t like living on a wing and a prayer. I like having control over everything. I prefer to live without limitations. On this latest trip, I would have preferred to have a new car or at the very least a rental car.  I would also prefer to be like the 12 other high-school friends I shared dinner with while in town: they each have one or two kids and a job. (I am not saying that they aren’t living faithful lives, as I am sure they are, it’s just that I am kind of jealous at the semblance of control they have) I would not prefer to live without two of my children but I would prefer the sense of control that comes with two incomes and a smaller family, but that is not what God wants for me.

God wants me to live on a wing and a prayer. I know this may sound irresponsible or even crazy, but God and I are in tune. I can’t deny it. I also can’t deny that the only way I made it to California was because of Him. In his great mercy, He didn’t just get me there, but He sent me an angel when I needed it, and even got me home too. I don’t deserve his grace. I honestly don’t even want to do it His way. But I am doing it His way (on a wing and a prayer) and I guess He counts that for something. Doing it His way is the best way. If I did it any other way, I wouldn’t have such a sure knowledge, like I do now, that He is there watching over me.

Read here for the origin of a wing and a prayer and enjoy the song.

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not,
neither do they reap,nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they? ~ Matthew 6:26