Buying That First Car

You shall have no other gods before Me. – Exodus 20:3

After the rather dark and distressing nature of last week’s post, I’m ready for a little levity. One of the most humorous situations occurred when I got my first car—and my second. Somewhere in here there’s a serious lesson on the value of things. And why we should always keep that in perspective.

Looks Aren’t Everything

Getting your driver’s license is a milestone in a teenager’s life, but let’s face it, the license is just a card without a car. I’d saved up my money from jobs, allowance, gifts and had everyone searching for a vehicle that fit the amount in my pocketbook.

This isn’t the exact car, hopefully it no longer exists, but this is a good replica. An eight year old 1960 Ford Falcon. Powder blue. A beauty. Since the beginning of mass-produced cars, Ford has made a lot of great vehicles, including the Falcon. This wasn’t one of them. It’s a good thing two of my brothers were mechanics because this car stayed in the shop more than on the road. photo 1 (9)

Things Quickly Lose Their Luster

A couple of more reliable cars later and with my bank account in a lot better shape, I decided to buy a new car. A Buick Lemans, gold tint, gleaming, all the bells and whistles. It purred. Everyone looked and shook their heads in wonder.

Everyone was impressed—except maybe God. That’s how I came to see it.

Less than a week after purchasing this wonderful car, we went to the movies. There were no parking places except right across the street under a huge live oak. I couldn’t parallel park, but there was plenty of space. Why had no one else taken that spot?

I found out after the movies. Apparently every bird in that part of the country used that tree to roost. My beautiful car was covered, literally, from one end to the other in bird poop. I had to scrape the window to see out.

Of course bird poop can be washed off. Then a week later, we went back to the movies. I’d make sure I didn’t park under any tree even if we had to walk a mile. No need to worry about that. We didn’t make it.

I lived out in the country and the theater was twenty miles away. On the way to the movies, I ran into a herd of black cows. No one was hurt, but the entire front end of my beautiful car was smashed in.

The car was repaired and served me for many years, but it never had the same charm after the accident. In fact, no car has appealed to me in the same way. After that one, I’ve always bought my vehicles with no other demands than they are enclosed with four wheels and get me reliably from point A to point B. Actually, all material possessions lost their appeal. I’m sure that’s save me a bundle over the years.

Keeping Things in Perspective

But a teenager has to have his wheels, so I promised my grandsons if they excelled in school and stayed out of trouble, I’d get them a car when they got their licenses. It seemed like a smart deal back when they were six and seven.photo 1 (1)

This year they claimed that promise. They are on honor roll and haven’t been in a bit of trouble, so I got the best end of the bargain. When the call went out for their first car, this is what showed up. A Rav4, four wheel drive. They like to hunt and fish.

It has over 200,000 miles on it, so it’s going to have its share of shop time, no doubt. Yes, they’ll share it. Don’t know how that’ll work out yet.

Since I think having skin in the game will make them appreciate it more, they have to pay the insurance and gas. I just hope they learn that cars, and all material possessions, are meant to fill a need, with no greater importance than to serve us.

While we serve God.

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