Friday, November 11, 2016

Scratch And Dent

My car is closing in on seven years of age with still no major ills but a bunch of bumps and bruises. This is from August 19, 2012. Two and a half years ago, on April Fool's Day of 2010, I bought a car, a brand new Honda Fit. I had prayed about it and researched it and even drove one belonging to a co-worker for weeks to make sure.... and I was sure. It's light blue- one of our former teachers called it periwinkle- and I loved it, and in fact, still do. Originally, I wanted a dark blue model but it would have taken several more days for delivery and I did not want to wait. The terrific salesman I worked with, Santos, at Russell and Smith Honda here in Houston, told me the lighter color was better because when the car began getting nicks, it would be less apparent. Deep down, I told myself there would be no dings because I would protect this fine piece of machinery, rated # 1 in the subcompact category for customer satisfaction by Consumer Reports. Above you see pictures of my pride and joy first posed with the happy owner and then with my teacher aides, Chelsey and Hanna, one week after its purchase. Nothing but smiles all around!

But now we fast forward to the present and reality has set in. I noticed a ding yesterday near the bumper by the driver's side door. It's not terrible but it's there. It joins two other scars, one under the driver's door and one at the rear on the other side which showed up in the last month. My flawless car is no longer flawless. Do you know what really bothers me? Three times someone has made contact with my car and not once have they made it right. No waiting for me, no note, and no phone number under the windshield wiper. I wouldn't call them hit and runs but at least they are scrape and disappears. I have no idea where any of the three happened or who to suspect. I could get them fixed but none are major and I'm not sure it's worth the effort or the expense. I just wish they would have told me.

We all start out spotless, don't we? Then we grow up and discover sin and its pleasures and its follies. The scarring and marring cranks up but when we turn our life over to the Lord, we feel invincible, or at least I did. I think I was naive enough when I became a Christian to think I was bullet proof when it came to the Evil One. But in that sense, I was no different than my Honda with the dings coming no matter how I tried to avoid them and especially when I made absolutely no effort to get out of the way. Some of the nicks were caused by others but many were self inflicted. Sometimes the offender apologized and sometimes they didn't. Truthfully, the other person often was unaware of any damage left in their wake and meant no harm. I've undoubtedly dinged others, deliberately and inadvertently and maybe simply by neglect. I can be frustrated that no one makes it right when they scratch the paint on my car but we all have left marks on others' souls. I'm an avoider- I don't pretend there is no issue, I just stay away from the other person. I tried parking away from all the other cars when mine was new and it's just not practical. In the same way, we can't live in a vacuum and isolate ourselves from the world and to do so would, I believe, violate the teachings of Jesus. So, at least honk the next time you're about to hit me and I'll do the same for you. Defensive driving at its Biblical finest!

Applicable quote of the day:

"Driving a brand new car feels like driving around in an open billfold with the dollars flapping by your ears as they fly out the window." 
Grey Livingston

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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