Rachel Heath

Intentional Living: learning to be fully present

It’s not really about the car

My car is a 15 year old SUV with no power steering. Driving it since I was 17 has made me one of those unusual women who knows about cars (at least a little), which is something I’m grateful for, but I just hate that car (and I tell it so). My dad bought it used for the purpose of hauling stuff around, but when I started driving, my parents “gave” it to me (now we’re “giving” it to my sister. She’s “thrilled”).

The thing gets 11 miles per gallon, has a slow leak in two of the tires, and the windshield has been cracked (and continues to crack) since I started driving it. The locks don’t work when it’s really cold, and last time I filled the tank I had to pry the gas cap open with my ice scraper (it was frozen). I’ve gotten into the habit of checking ALL the fluids EVERY TIME I get gas, and often have to top off some of the ones that leak. This causes men to offer me help nearly every other time I get gas, because I’ve got the hood up, which is really nice (seriously, I appreciate it), but it’s irritating that men assume I’m not capable of checking my oil myself. I’m not stranded or helpless. I’m sorry, it really is nice. It’s rare to see that kind of niceness, I’m just sick of guys in F350’s calling me “honey” at the gas station.

ANYWAY.

Aside from the fact that this car is a huge pain to maintain and drive around, it just doesn’t fit my personality, and it’s always reminded me of my dad’s frugal and practical nature, which seems to say to me “You’re not worth the money of a nicer car”. Or even “You’re not worth the money of a more dependable vehicle.” Of course, this is not what my father meant to communicate to me. He merely aimed to instill monetary wisdom in me and to save some money, but as I’ve never had “nice things” given to me, my car is a painful example of a life which I’ve often felt doesn’t please my dad. To be fair, he blesses me in other ways. I just have a childhood absolutely full of moments where it would have meant the world if he would have bought me a piece of candy at the checkout counter- full of moments where he said “no”.

But I’ve been blessed beyond my imagination recently- I got a new car. Stephen and I could buy the SUV from my parents, or get by with one car, but we found a shiny, sporty little hatchback for a great price, and practically brand new, and decided to buy it. Now I’ve got a car that with working speakers, power steering, and less than 30 bucks on a tank of gas (I’ve NEVER spent less than 35 in my LIFE!). Everything in it functions properly. I couldn’t be happier!!!

Driving it home from the dealership, I started crying, and I just couldn’t stop. In Luke 11 Jesus preaches about “knock, and the door will be opened for you.” That if even your earthly father will bless you with good things, how much more your heavenly father? I’ve never understood this verse. Driving my new car for the first time, I understood the Lord’s heart to bless me. In my mind’s eye I could see His face, and He looked at me like a father delighted in his daughter, with no trace of reproach. So, it’s not just a car. It’s the understanding that I am of unfathomable value to the Lord. (and it’s 40-60 bucks saved on gas every month!!)

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2 thoughts on “It’s not really about the car

  1. That’s really cool! How many days till wedding now?

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