“It’s over!” What? Huh? “It’s over!” The voice on the other end of the phone was slow and steady.
“What are you talking about,” i queried. “I’m talking about your car, every single light is on, and the radio is off. It must be something electrical. You need to make a decision on another car now.”
This wasn't the first time, but the electrical thing did sound kind of serious.
i’m reading your mind…..“It’s not that bad, just get it fixed. How bad can it be?”
Well, let me give you some background. The vehicle in question is a 2008 Honda Odyssey. When we got it, it was brand new. It had about 18 miles. As of this writing, my trusty van has made it to the 300,000 mile club.
The first six years she aged very gracefully, even though we piled on the miles, she took it all in stride. Around year seven the sliding door on the right side stopped opening. i tucked the $1,600 estimate into the side door slot (since the glove compartment was no longer working) and instructed the kids to use the left door ONLY. The car continued to give us mile after faithful mile.
Other small things happened. A stain here, a stain there. A dent here and a dent there. A minor accident that caused the driver’s side door to open only partially. Still, the car continued to get us from point A to point B, but it’s look and feel were changing from loyal family car to “fixer-upper.”
That’s when the whispers and hints started. “Mom, when are you getting a new car?”
“Rette, maybe we should look at cars, do you have anything in mind?”
No way! The car, although a bit battle-scarred, was fine. Plus, once we were at about 250,000 miles, i set my sites on the 300,000-mile mark. The naysayers thought it would never happen, but it did, and i hit the coveted marker. Almost immediately, my mind set another goal. Hey, if we could get 300,000 maybe we can squeak out a few more miles. Maybe 320,000?
At some point (after i crashed it into the garage) the hydraulics in the tailgate door stopped working. So, access to the back meant physically lifting the tailgate door and holding it. Not very practical for grocery shopping because the door is quite heavy and nearly impossible to hold with one hand and load groceries (or anything else) with the other. Trust me on this, i’m nursing a sore shoulder as evidence.
Somewhere along the way, we made a tough decision. No more repairs. Given that the trade in value was only about $1,500, it just didn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on fixing the seemingly doomed car. Effectively the car is in “Carspice” care (hospice for cars). No extreme measures. Just gas, oil and the opportunity to live out her days in peace.
Even with this decision, i STILL was not convinced to make a change and get a new car. Yes, i went to dealers and scoured the internet, but there was always an excuse. Always a reason to keep my car. Thinking about it was tire-ing and exhausting (see what i did there?) Then one day, it happened. i was driving down the road. The car was performing flawlessly, except for the aforementioned issues (and the blown out headlight) and…..in a moment of clarity and inspiration, i realized it’s time.
Something just clicked that said,
it’s time for something NEW.
And now you see that this post isn’t really about my car. It’s about our lives.
Lots of miles,
broken parts and we adjust.
we don’t use the glove compartment,
we rationalize the scratches,
work around the dents,
injure ourselves trying to make the liftgate work,
and keep living with the broken down car that is life.
Pastors can preach.
Family can prod.
Friends can encourage.
It doesn’t matter.
Until YOU decide that you want to do something different.
Until YOU decide that you want a new life. You will keep driving the old one.
Well, i’m tired of the old car and am accepting donations :), but more than that, i’m tired of the old life. Tired of living the reality that THIS is “good enough.”
The funny thing is that i have options. i can drive a different car, but every morning, i get up and choose my old hoopde.* This morning, there were two options. A BMW and a Honda. i drove my van. i do the same with my life. i have options….
How often do we wake up and choose the hoopde? The old life?
God’s mercies are NEW EVERY MORNING (Lamentations 3:23)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Today, i challenge you to choose the new mercies, the new life, the new heart.
Hoopde is a busted up car. Usually very rusty, dented, with broken headlights, bumpers and/or doors. (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hoopde)