Steel belted threads…

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Matthew 6:25-27

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4:6

A couple weeks ago I headed back up to NY to celebrate Mother’s day with my family and spend time with friends I hadn’t seen for about 6 months since my last visit. Now while I normally will drive 13 hours in one shot to get there, this time I chose to fly and rent a car. Both the Delta and Enterprise had served me well for many years.

That is, until this trip. Still no complaints about Delta, but let me set the stage for Enterprise here. Now rental cars are the fastest cars on the planet mainly because the renter doesn’t have to repair or maintain them. That reasoning is why I will generally avoid renting the lower-end vehicles as they’re commonly driven into the ground for giggles.

I picked up a nice Audi. It was fast, comfortable, and looked cool. I’m a car guy, sue me. Most of the week was spent driving between Warwick and Pine Island, except for a surprise trip up to Springfield, MA to visit some good friends who I haven’t seen in over a year. The roughly 3 hour drive went well but in the end the car didn’t make it to Springfield.

Driving on I-91N maybe a half hour from my destination, I saw a tractor trailer ahead of me swerve drastically. I did the same, avoiding whatever it was with my front tires but it nailed my right rear tire. The car behind me hit it head on, and I saw the vehicle catch air before rapidly pulling off the highway. Here’s a view from behind posted on TikTok the day after:

(Editors note: This may not actually be from THAT incident but going by what the area looked like in Google Street View, as well as what I saw the car behind me do, I believe it is).

About 2 miles down the road, I heard the telltale sound of a tire having blown out so I pulled off. Happily, there was a spare tire in the trunk. Sadly, there was no wrench or jack. That’s when Sherwin pulled up in a Geico roadside truck. He offered to help and quickly installed the spare tire (for free) and sent me on my way.

I was immensely thankful for the assistance! I thanked God for sending him my way, and thanked God again when I saw that the inside of the tire was completely shredded. As I’m now driving on a donut, I had to call Enterprise roadside assistance to get a new ride. These are limited to 50 miles at 50mph, and well – I can’t drive 55mph let alone 50mph.

The woman on the phone directed me over to the Enfield, CT branch of Enterprise, made contact with them and opened an incident for the car. About 2 minutes after that call, Parth, the manager of Enterprise in Enfield, CT called me to let me know that he had no cars available… I discussed going to the airport then, but he stated that they are likely out too.

He did mention however that they had a tire shop nearby that they work with, so I should come in with the car and he would see what our options were. When I arrived, he’d already setup an appointment with the tire shop (Town Faire in Enfield, CT). They confirmed the tire was toast and Tim at Town Faire asked me to give him about 2 hours to replace it.

While waiting, my friends from Springfield picked me up so I could visit with them (and grab some Chick Fil-A because why not, it’s awesome). As the evening approached, the tire shop called to let me know the car was ready. I had to pay Enterprise $55 for the roadside assistance since I declined the coverage, but other than that I was back on my way home.

I made sure to thank God that from the blowout on the interstate though getting the car back, everything had gone as smooth as can be, and I still got to see my friends. As a side note, I thank God a lot. We all should. Whether things go right, or wrong, I see His hand in it and know that at the end of the day things will transpire for our good and His glory.

I’ll admit I was still trying to wonder the point of having that tire blow out was, until I was sitting in church this past Sunday with my mother and got a text alert from my bank. Enterprise just billed me $385 for tolls. My jaw dropped, my anxiety shot up, and I quickly got annoyed. When I got home I called them – closed on the weekend.

See, the cars come with a toll transponder on the windshield, and for a “convenience fee” a renter can use that – or their own. I chose to use my own and didn’t really think much of it.

On Monday I called them. Closed for Memorial Day. In the mean time I checked my EZ-Pass account and the only toll there (I used my own transponder) was a toll from the drive up to Massachusetts where I had that tire replaced by Enterprise. On Tuesday morning, I called up Enterprise and plead my case to them.

They sent me an email which I could attach evidence of my claim to, so I sent a copy of my EZ-Pass statement (a toll which was missing from their report) and a copy of the invoice from Town Faire tire. That single piece of paper proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was an error here. Enterprise had me collecting tolls in NJ when the car was in CT.

When the guy gave me the receipt, he wasn’t sure I needed it since it was a rental and Enterprise got the bill, but a small voice told me to hold on to it. I also gave the names and contact info of everyone who dealt with the Audi on Wednesday, and mare sure to point out that the car had otherwise not left a 20 mile radius of Warwick, NY for the duration.

After I did what I needed to, I said a prayer to God and gave Him the entire situation. I left its outcome and resolution up to Him. I wasn’t going to worry about it anymore. Now while some folks may shout that this was all a happy coincidence, I see it as a thread. I see many threads, all woven together by the Almighty for our good and His glory. This was another.

With that prayer, I left the stress and anxiety behind me and moved on with my day.

This morning I get an email from Enterprise, they found an error and are issuing a full refund.

Thank you, Jesus. 🙂

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