Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Car, Old Car

Sometimes I wish I could live without a car. Take the subway to work, the train to the next town. We don’t have that kind of luxury in the Northwoods. Nope, pretty much everybody has to drive their car to get from point A to point B. And having a car isn’t always the convenience a person had hoped for.

My car had been making some noise, idling rough, even stalling at stop signs once in a while. I let it go for a long time, not wanting to know the answer – or the cost. Finally a couple months ago, I knew it was time to take it to the Mazda dealer out of town, because none of the local garages knew what was wrong with it.

“It is unsafe to drive,” was the initial appraisal. Perfect. Mechanics seem to say that a lot. I’d been driving the car with these same issues for two years, and now suddenly it was taken away. In its place, however, the garage was nice enough to give us a loaner. The last time a garage gave me a car as a loaner it was a fifteen year old Buick that smelled like wet dog.

Not this time. This garage gave us a brand-new model that smelled like fresh paint and plastic. I drove it for four days, while they diagnosed and treated my ten year old. It was fun driving the new car, but honestly, when I dropped it off, paid the bill (the exorbitant bill), walked around the corner of the building, and saw that old four-door friend, my heart missed a beat. There she was, loyal and familiar, with rust on one of the fenders growing like a cancer. But she was mine and I knew her well.

It's tempting to want the newest, the biggest, the best. But the Bible does warn us about temptation and that it really is not a good idea to give in to it. Live within your means and don't be coveting stuff.

At the right time, in the right season, new is ok, but for me, right now, the old is just fine.

“But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”Luke 5:38-39 New King James Version (NKJV)

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