I love my truck! It’s a 2004, Chevy Silverado, Z71 package, fully loaded with all the bells and whistles. It is sweet! Out of all the vehicles I have ever owned, it is by far my favorite. It’s got 80,000 miles on it and is raring to go another 80,000 as long as I take good care of it.
The best thing about my truck is that it’s a Chevy (sorry to all my “Ford” friends). I’ve had other makes and models, and no doubt there are some good ones out there, but for some reason, it just feels right to drive a Chevy. Getting in the driver’s seat is still fun for me, even after owning it for almost 4 years.
I’ll let you in on a little secret… I bought my truck on eBay. I found it used, at a dealership in Houston, TX. It was less than a year old with low miles. Best of all, I got it for the wholesale price because this particular dealership was helping people who had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. This was the only good thing that came out of my experience with Hurricane Katrina.
I remember the day I got it. It was Monday, November 14, 2005. I flew to Houston, TX, went to the dealership, did the test drive and mechanical check, signed the papers, gave them some money, and then jumped on I-10, Eastbound, for a 6 hour drive back home. What a great six hours it was; just me, my new truck, and the open road.
Of course the first thing I did was to figure out what each one of the buttons was for (I accidentally called On-Star 3 times). Exploring all the different stations on XM radio was fun, too. I had to stop scanning when I got to the first country station (it just seemed like the right thing to do… listening to a country station in my new 4-wheel drive truck). The song playing was Brad Paisley’s “Mud On The Tires.” It was such a poetic moment as these lyrics came through my stereo speakers:
“I’ve got some big news, The bank finally came through, And I’m holdin’ the keys to a brand new Chevrolet, Have you been outside it sure is a nice night, How about a little test drive, Down by the lake, There’s a place I know about where the dirt road runs out, And we can try out the four-wheel drive, Come on now what do you say, Girl, I can hardly wait to get a little mud on the tires”
I have to say that hearing these words was a religious experience for me. It was truly a perfect moment in time. I was so “gung-ho” and just couldn’t wait to “get a little mud on the tires” of my brand new truck.
For the first few weeks I must have washed it every 2-3 days. Every time I saw a speck of dirt, out came the garden hose and cleaning supplies. I remember my wife peering out the window, shaking her head, and giving me the “You’re such a freak!” look, as only a wife can do. But I didn’t care! I was proud of my new truck and did everything I could to keep it shiny.
Fast-forward to September 2008. I think it has been 4 months since I’ve washed my truck. It needs a bath in the worst kind of way! It’s even overdue for an oil-change. Funny how in the beginning I was so obsessed with maintaining my truck, but when the newness wore off, I became much less passionate about its upkeep. Though I still love it dearly, I tend to take it a bit for granted.
I think we’re all guilty of that very thing…taking one another for granted. When we enter into a new relationship, it’s fresh and full of excitement. But after a while it becomes old-hat. The shine wears off, it gets comfortable, and at times we have to make a conscious effort to do the required maintenance. Funny how that happens.
Not only does that happen with earthly relationships, but it happens in our relationship with God, too. I remember when I first began my relationship with Christ. My life had been so impacted! I was full of zeal and wanted to tell everybody what God had done for me. It was so easy to make time for Him everyday. But as the years went by, I found myself still wanting and needing that relationship, but not always giving it enough time. Those of you who know me are saying, “Dude, you’re a pastor! How does that happen?” (Okay, maybe not all of you are using the word Dude) Nonetheless, it can happen to all of us if we’re not careful.
How are your relationships? Has the shine worn off? And if it has, what are you doing about it?
When’s the last time you and your spouse went out for a date-night or had a meaningful conversation? When’s the last time you called a friend or family member just to “check in”? Most importantly, when’s the last time you spoke with God; not just with a checklist of things for Him to do, but a real conversation where you not only spoke, but listened?
Remember how I told you the first thing I did in my new truck was to figure out what all the buttons were for? Well, it’s time to rediscover the buttons in your relationships! Get reacquainted with them and realize all the amazing possibilities and potential they hold.
“There’s a place I know about where the dirt road runs out, And we can try out the four-wheel drive, Come on now what do you say, Girl, I can hardly wait to get a little mud on the tires”
So, carve out some time; find a dirt road; get a little mud on the tires!