“Bugged” …Vol 59
Have you ever been smitten by something? I think we all have to one degree or another. The object of our smitten-ness…er…smite…whatever…can be in it’s uniqueness, it’s function, the way it looks, smells…or some other distinguishing feature. For young men (and older men alike…)well…ok…for me, it’s often cars.
We have a relationship with cars that borders on the ridiculous. I’ve read stories of men trying to marry their cars…Cultures and businesses have sprung up to meet the physical and emotional needs of those of us who affix an un-natural amount of our identity and self-esteem to what kind of car we drive.
My brother and I learned to drive in the early 70’s…however…I started thinking about cars much earlier…. like out of the womb. Dad was a car buff. From the time we had any understanding of speech…we heard about cars. As we got older, Sunday afternoons were dedicated to car lots or airports…(dad’s love of cars was only slightly eclipsed by his love of airplanes.) Mom put up with this obsession which didn’t really come to a head until well after my brother and I had moved away and had our own families. Dad surprised mom one day by coming home unannounced with a 1976 Corvette. I don’t remember if that was before or after the airplane…surprise!
But back in the early 60’s money was tight….and there was this German import that had been taking the country by storm with it’s unique look, good gas mileage and simple mechanics. The Volkswagen “Beetle.” That name was eventually shortened to “Bug.” I don’t know who coined either name…(probably some ad guy)…but it sure stuck…and I can see why. It was a vehicle so ugly it was cute. And it came in a rainbow of colors. Back then a brand new one was under $2000. Anyway, Dad loved the car and I remember the family driving to a dealer in Rome, NY to order a shiny new one with a sunroof to replace the old Studebaker.
We never got that new bug…if I recall the wait was over 6 months…we ended up with a little red Corvair sedan instead. Many of you will remember Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at any speed” yea…that Corvair.
The Corvair had a short life in our family…thanks to Ralph Nader…and the bug had come into our lives in a big way. The “bug” was affordable and plentiful. We had a herd of ’em. I think we had 5 of them gracing our driveway at one point. Two or three “drivers” a parts car and a “project car” for my dad. Each vehicle had it’s own personality…it’s own temperament and some distinguishing quirk. I still remember driving home one winter night in my brother’s bug trying to scrape the ice off the inside of the windshield with my hand while trying to see out of a tiny clear spot at the corner of the windshield…the only place where the defroster actually worked…a little. And it was always a crap shoot if the wipers would keep working in a rain storm often leaving us straining to see or stranded on the side of the road.
The bug was definitely a fair-weather vehicle. All the equipment was there to get through the storms but it just didn’t work real well…and sometimes not at all. Even when it did work…it wasn’t very dependable.
You know the saying, “fair-weather friend?” That’s the person who is happy to be your friend when you are “buying” or when things are all working out. Throw a little rain on the parade and these fair-weather friends scatter. Sadly, that’s also how some Christians view their relationship with God. God allows a storm or two, maybe an occasional hurricane and we run…or get totally blown off course.
As believers, we have all the equipment and tools we need to weather the storms of life…so why are their so many Christians on the side of the road in a storm? I remember the first time I had a flat tire…it took me longer to figure out where to find the jack than it did to change the tire. My point being that we need to get better acquainted with how to unpack what we need from our spiritual trunk. Familiarize ourselves with the manual if you will. Know where to go to get help. Pick a way to describe this that resonates with you.
But don’t quit the journey when it rains Christian.
We are built to handle foul weather.
2nd Corinthians 6: 3-10