Shifting Gears

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By Courtney Lindberg, Arborbrook Advisors

Since I was a very young man, I have loved fast cars and the thrill of driving fast. It got me into a fair amount of trouble, as you can imagine, with two speeding tickets the very first day I had my driver’s license. I tried to explain to the officer that I was a new driver and had underestimated the supercharged engine in my mother’s Buick Park Avenue. He didn’t buy it.

When my parents had finally agreed to help me purchase my own vehicle, I strategically went car shopping with my mom. Her father had been a master mechanic, owned his own shop and her and my uncles grew up driving the quintessential vehicles of that time; big block Chevy’s, Challengers and Mustangs. Yet, my mother, whether by my grandfather’s design, or just happenstance, drove one of the tamest Mustangs ever made. To her, a Mustang was a safe bet. So, when we found what I was looking for in our price range, we went to look at it. We came home and she shared with my father that it was clean, seemed to be well taken care of and the mileage wasn’t too high.

“What engine did it have?” My father asked her.

“Oh, I don’t know, but the mechanic said there weren’t any issues with it.”

“Son, what engine did it have?”

“There’s different types of engines?” I feigned.

He found a picture of it in the Auto Trader I had been scouring. He looked very closely at the picture and pointed to the small number on the front fender; 5.0. He looked at me, pointing at it.

“What?” I said, attempting an Oscar nomination.

He blinked. “Nice try.”

It’s probably for my benefit that I did not get that beast and ended up in a 4-cylinder Saturn. My father knew me.

When I lost him to cancer many years later, still in my 20s, I inherited his Lexus sedan. It was a very nice vehicle—for a man of his demeanor. It achieved its goal of comfort with excellence and was very reliable. But, I had no desire for this to remain my car, for reasons a young man wouldn’t and not wanting to be reminded that this was his and he wasn’t here anymore. I knew what I wanted and I searched the entire country for months looking for it. Yet, every time I got in contact with an owner, it had just sold. I gave up.

Then, a friend came to me, sharing with me a story that could only have been orchestrated by God. Long story short, he needed to move to Rochester, but didn’t have the means to get there. I had a vehicle with enough space to take us both comfortably and fit his stuff in the back. The drive took two days. I met the woman who would become his wife, rested for the night and left the next morning.

As I was turning onto the access road to the interstate home, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a roadster, Interlagos Blue, sitting on a platform. I yanked the steering wheel, pulled into the dealer and disbelieving my eyes, found myself looking at exactly what I had been dreaming of. It was mine soon after and an amazing deal on top of that.

Sometimes it is only when we let go of trying to make things happen in our own power, with ourselves at the center of our thoughts, and turn to the service of others, that we find what we’ve been looking for.

We believe the same can be said about finances, which is why we take a path very different from our competitors. If you’d like to learn more about how to see your finances in an entirely new light, we would love the chance to meet you.