Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

2.18.2011

The Vast Car Conspiracy

Frankly, I don’t believe it’s even possible that the women who lived before the 20th century could have developed the virtues of patience and humility and not hyperventilating. You see, they lived before the era of cars. Furthermore, Henry Ford’s invention of the automobile—I believe it was just a vast conspiracy to teach women these particular qualities.
I know, because I drive that sort of car.

In all fairness, yes, it’s our family van, but please don’t ask me what make it is—I don’t know these things. All I know is that its quirks are a little too bizarre to be accounted for any other way than via conspiracy theory.  A conspiracy makes so much more sense than a bad radiator, don't you think? 

The windshield wipers, you see, just happen to require this special touch that involves sitting in the van for an extra sixty seconds (when you’re already sixty seconds late, mind you) and turning the dial to just the right setting, then…bam! toggling it to off just as the wipers reach a 90 degree angle with the hood of the car. It’s harder than parallel parking, and it is for my patience.

And there’s this other thing. Sometimes, you’ll be driving along on one of those beautiful sunny days (we do have them occasionally!), feeling quite superior in the freshly-washed minivan, wearing a snazzy outfit, smiling benevolently at all you see. And suddenly—the windshield wipers start a-swiping. Back and forth, back and forth, in a maniacal frenzy as I duplicate the frenzy trying to stop them. Everyone around looks up at the sky, wondering if that strange green minivan chortling down the road with wipers going at full speed is trying to forecast the weather or something. This is for my humility.

It’s also possible that, one day when I’m driving this car, the turn signals will suddenly cease to exist. And it’s a very good possibility also that when I go to roll down the windows to blushingly duplicate said signals with my arms—the windows won’t roll down. And the radio won’t turn on. And…and…and. This is the not hyperventilating part. But it’s also the learning to laugh at the little inconveniences part.

I have many more tales I could regale you with of the little green van with the mind of its own (personally, I think it must be seeking revenge for all the times I’ve hit the curb while parking). And frankly, I don’t really mind its quirks anymore. It makes life interesting…you never know what to expect when you get in the car…and it’s become the running joke among our family to discover a new quirk in Mr. GreenJeans.

James 1:2-4 has also gained in meaning:“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Mr. GreenJeans is definitely in the “various trials” business, which puts me square in the “testing of my faith” business, which means that no longer are all my adventures due to a vast conspiracy, but a vast Providence. 

Therefore, even though I am somewhat of a perfectionist (which translates: I get irritated easily with my own faults and the faults of others and other things that are out of my control.) Anyways…perfectionist…I’ve come to appreciate life in this imperfect environment with cars whose power steering will go out just to make you pray harder and dishwashers that stop working just to make you have a hymn-singing session while you handwash eight people’s dishes and computers that shut down right in the middle of the typing of a school essay just to make you praise God even in having to rewrite the essay. I’ve come to appreciate it so much that I, in fact, feel truly sorry for the ladies who lived one hundred years ago who had no such vast Providence orchestrated to perfect their character. (They had massacres and fires and crop failures and childbirth with no one around for miles, though, so I suppose that makes up for it. I’d personally take Mr. GreenJeans any day.) And I furthermore feel truly sorry for the ladies who are billionaires and can simply buy a new model, a new dishwasher, a new computer. It would be awfully hard to learn character that way. So, out of the goodness of my heart, if there are any billionaires reading, I’m sure my dad wouldn’t mind graciously leasing out Mr. GreenJeans as a bonafide, guaranteed character builder. After all, having to stop along side the road every ten minutes on a hot summer day with the heat at full blast and the hood still steaming is guaranteed to build something in you.


P.S. As Mikaela mentioned before, check back on Monday! The week’s festivities may include (but trust me, are not limited to!) posts every day, some amazing guest posters whom I hope you’ll welcome enthusiastically, several fabulous giveaways, and a special surprise at the end of the week wherein Mikaela and I will get to meet some of you for the first time…I can’t wait!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Picture Credit: Jan Tik

8 comments:

  1. I had to laugh at this! We've experienced similar "character-building lessons" from our van. Last weekend our whole family (there are nine of us) was on the way to an event when the van suddenly broke down in a pretty bad part of town. Sooo, we had the van towed and then had to sit on the curb of a very busy road and wait for 2 taxis to take us back home (30 miles away). Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a cheap trip. ;) All that said, it could have been far worse. The van could have broken down on an overpass...or somthing. God can use even the most frustrating sircumstances for His glory, though! Our family learned that we can't control some scenarios, but we can control our response. Thanks for the encouragement!

    P.S. My dad also had the opportunity to share the gospel with the cab-driver. Isn't God good? :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hilarious! You had me laughing out loud. Though our vehicle has never acted in unexpected ways there have been plenty of other things we've had to deal with in just the proper way or they wouldn't work. Most times we don't think about it until someone comes to visit and our quirky things give them a headache.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh goodness Lauren... This post had me rolling with laughter and identifying with all of the little annoyances that the Lord seems to bring about at what we think is exactly the "wrong time!" I also laughed when you mentioned being a perfectionist and easily irritated because that has been one of the biggest struggles God has been working on in my life for the past 5-10 years or so. I used to find myself irritated at everything until I started realizing that those little irritations were the type of things God was using to teach me the character qualities of patience, kindness, joy, and love that I was praying for. It always amazes me how we Christians think that when we pray for a certain character quality we'll just happen to develop it overnight with absolutely no pain or struggle involved in the process, because God wouldn't want us to have to struggle would he? I've learned to thank God for all of those "irritations" and am so thankful that everything isn't always as perfect as I'd like it to be. Those red lights that used to make my blood pressure rise because we were already running late and didn't have time to wait 30-60 seconds longer turned into times of stopping, praying, and calming my spirit before the Lord. Isn't it amazing how he uses even the technology of the 21st century to turn our focus back to him?!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kaylyn--Wow, that makes my car stories pale in comparison! But it is amazing that, no matter what the story is, God does allow us to laugh about it later and see the lessons in it if we are willing. That is wonderful that your dad was able to witness to the cab driver! I can completely see God's hand in that situation because your dad had the right response, unlike my human response so many times. Thanks so much for sharing that story!
    A Joyful Chaos--Thanks for commenting! I know what you mean--I get used to all the little imperfections around here until a new eye points them out to me again! Hmmm...and that definitely reminds me to be gracious with other's imperfections as well as my own family's!
    Jacqueline--I'm sure glad I'm not the only one! I was nodding my head in agreement as I read your comment about the red lights--it's always my temptation to let my blood pressure rise on those! I am so glad that God is in control of all this technology, and that it makes it possible to keep in contact with you! (-:

    ReplyDelete
  5. Grandpa George was the name of my family's "special" truck that I drove once upon a time. Believe me, the memories are well worth the trial! Thanks for a good smile and laugh on my Friday afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A great post and a good reminder to use those irritations as character builders. :) Thanks for sharing in a humorous way! And, I'm looking forward to what next week holds. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Excited for next weeks posts! Maybe you'll come see me!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I absolutely love the new design!!! So stylish and modern, and so cute! I've been having fun checking everything out on your newly designed blog =)

    ReplyDelete

We love comments like we love sunshine and chocolate and chubby babies!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin