Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Like a Driver in a Fine Rice Burner... er... Car

I see this every time I walk through a parking lot, and I feel bad for the car's owner. But sometimes when I see it, I have to shake my head in bewilderment. Now, I'm not much on modified import cars that are called "sport compacts." But call them what you will-- tuners, rice burners, stickercharged toys-- I'm impressed when I see one that has been done right. Which isn't very often.

It wasn't this one that I saw,
but it looked this good.
(Image from Super Street Magazine.)
So last week I saw a beautiful Mitsubishi Eclipse. It had been lowered, but the rear wheels weren't splayed out at the bottom. The custom bumper covers had been tightly fitted. The side ground effects were cleanly trimmed to fit the body. The spoiler on the trunk matched the lines of the car, rather than looking like somebody bolted on a shopping cart. The paint job was perfect, with sharp-looking professional artwork. The finish was so deep it looked like you could immerse your hand into it. The wheels were over-sized, but not much that they looked like something from a kid's tricycle. It was a sharp-looking machine. And surprisingly, I wouldn't mind being seen driving it.

I could even overlook the misplaced "Type R" emblem. ("Type R" is a Honda option, but these guys love to put the emblem on anything. Why? 'Cuz it makes the car faster.)

Here was a gorgeous car, built to be driven, but operated by a Motorist. How do I know he's "just a Motorist," and not a "Driver?" The right rear tire was low. It was so low that the sidewalls were touching the pavement. And it had been low for a while, because the tire had a visible ring of wear all the way around on the sidewall. I shook my head in disbelief, and this haggard mind could only respond with this age's most overused word. "Really?" It wasn't going to be long before this car was sitting on the side of the road with a blown tire, with the owner wondering what had happened.

A Motorist may have his car maintained regularly. He may care for it meticulously. But he's unaware when the car is "telling" him something. A Driver would know right away that that tire was low, because she could tell by how the car "feels." Chances are, she could tell you which tire was low without looking, long before the sidewall touched the pavement. And she would get it fixed. A Driver is always communicating with the car. Every noise, every bump, every turn, every stoplight tells a Driver about the car. A Motorist is oblivious until something breaks.

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. (Matthew 13.16-17)

A Motorist may maintain his machine, but a Driver cares for it. A Motorist worries about breakdowns, but a Driver trusts his machine. A Motorist is unaware of traffic and dangers around him. He's the only one on the road. A Driver sees and hears everything, blending with traffic and avoiding dangers. A Motorist pushes in impatience to a destination. To a Driver, it's all about the drive, not the destination.

Read that verse from Matthew again. Put it in present tense. "Many great people and leaders long to see what you see but don't see it, and to hear what you hear but don't hear it." Focused on institutions, doctrines, denominations, politics, traditions, and all sorts of distractions, Believers miss the point. They are so intent on getting somewhere, they maintain church life, worry over unimportant issues, and push, push, push. Christians look forward in hope, and care for their spiritual life, understand that life is actually all about Jesus Christ, and go where He leads. They know where He leads, because they listen to His word, feel his presence, and discern when something is or isn't right.

Like a Driver in a fine car.

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