Crazy busy, broken clutches, and denting new cars
You can always tell how busy I am by the growing stack of unread newspapers in my living room, and by the scarcity of posts on my blog. By both measures, it’s been a busy week.
Somehow I’ve picked up three fairly major organizational roles, a little extra writing and teaching. At the same time, regular life and ministry has also cranked up. Plus my car decided to die, which meant looking for a new one. I’m not complaining. Life has been good. But the pace has been a bit crazy, and I sense the need to pull back a little bit and gain some sanity so I’m not just skimming through life.
About that new car. A couple of weeks ago, the clutch on my 1995 Honda Civic with 355,000 km on it began to go. It really got bad fast, and I didn’t know how long it would last. I finally committed to buying a new car, but then a couple of nights ago the clutch seemed to work just fine. I started to feel really guilty about splurging on a new car when the old one worked just fine.
Yesterday was pickup day for the new car. The deal is that my Civic had to arrive at the dealership in working condition of some sort. On the way to the office yesterday, the clutch stopped working. I almost called a tow truck, but eventually I found a way to get it going. Every time I couldn’t shift, I’d have to come to a complete stop, turn off the car, force the gear into second, restart the car, and get going again. That’s a bit of a challenge on the highway, but it worked, and I somehow pulled into the dealership with a working car. I no longer felt guilty for giving up the old one either.
The new car is all shiny and it looks pretty good. I got thinking of something I read in A Severe Mercy. The characters in that book brought home their new car, and the first thing they did was grab a hammer and put a dent in it. It was the only way they knew how to keep that new car from becoming an idol in their life.
I’ve decided not to take a hammer to my new car just yet, but you never know. For now I’m just grateful for a small enough pause to blog, for time with my wife at a concert last night, and for small mercies of a car dying within an hour of picking up a new one – talking about sucking every bit of life from an old clunker.
And while I’m thankful, I’m going to do some thinking about how to get my schedule back to sanity. You’ll know that has happened when you see a few more posts around here, or when you see me racing around town in the new Vibe, or maybe even reading a newspaper.