A couple of weeks ago, we sold a car that we had had for over 14 years. When we bought it, it was expensive, and we vowed to keep it forever. How we even believed that it would last that long is another blog! The fact is, we had to say goodbye to a car.
Now, this was not just a car. There was great meaning attached to it. It appeared in my life, when I needed to feel held and cocooned. We were traversing rough waters as a family in 2002, and I felt abandoned and unloved by the One who always loves. This car was both a tank and a womb. It was literally the heaviest car we’ve ever owned (hit from behind on the freeway by a carjacker early on with hardly a dent). The seats were programmed by the driver to adjust when the door was unlocked. Back in those days, this was a real innovation! So, when I unlocked the door, the seat moved forward as if to say, “Welcome! I’ve been waiting for you and together we will ride and enjoy one another’s company.” With sunroof opened, individual climate-controls for each passenger and seat warmers, I was tasting a little bit of heaven. My world had just turned upside down, and I had a place of protection and comfort that soothed me and took me to a different place.
It has taken me 10 of those 14 years to be at peace with my new reality. So, the car, while being a symbol of God’s love and care in my life at that time, was now a liability: premium gas, well over $1000 in insurance premiums per year and repairs that just kept coming at us in waves.
We finally sold the car to the repair shop that we had used for the past few years. We did this with the full realization that this man will put some time and parts into it and sell it to another customer for double what we got for it! As we drove away in our other car, I silently wept (for about two minutes), and then felt a huge sense of relief. I had moved on in my life, and it was time to let go of this car!
How many times have I lingered over something that I needed to part with just to forget all about it once it was given away? When we endured the flood of 2014, we lost a lot, especially a lot of books--100’s. I think I may have thought, “Oh, that one was lost in the flood…” about two times total since then! Why are we so afraid of letting go of things? Could it be that our identity is somehow wrapped up in them, even though we claim to be unattached to things? Our tendency is to attach meaning to much of what we have even though we simultaneously are reminded that when we die, none of it will go with us and will have less, if any, meaning to our offspring!
Try imagining this: Everything except a few pieces of clothing, food for the day or week and a small, comfortable dwelling are gone. Ok, maybe a bicycle to get where you really need to go. Could you do it? Where would the meaning in your life reside then? Think about it. Really think about it.