Friday, January 13, 2006

'96 Contour & Prayer

I have this 1996 Ford Contour. It is the exact same color as our other vehicle, a minivan. They're both pacific green. People drive by our open garage door, see the identical color on two vehicles, and think we must REALLY love it.

Not really. When we purchased the van, we actually liked another color better at the time. Midnight red. I remember it well. But we didn't like the interior (beige or brown). So pacific green it was. We bought it new, liked the color enough, but loved the van because we were the first owners and the kids could all jump around, have plenty of space, and maybe, just maybe, reduce the traveling fights.

When it was time to purchase a 2nd vehicle, we had very specific requirements: used vehicle, low price tag, high mileage (which for a used car means it's been driven a lot/few mechanical problems [one of the many things I'm NOT is mechanically inclined]), good gas mileage, manual transmission, four doors, air conditioning (which has since needed a little work). Notice, none of the requirements had anything to do with the COLOR. Well we came across the perfect vehicle in our little town. But it happened to be the same pacific green. The kids get tired of explaining the color stories and simply respond, "yeah, they love the color".

I guess most used vehicles have their own quirks. This one has several (having to do with dashboard lights that don't work and a little flashlight to let me know how fast I'm going at night and a strange gear shift when going in reverse).

Another is the speakers on the passenger side in the front are in the door. And there is a short somewhere in the electrical system. Occasionally the speaker goes out, as it did this morning. I pulled into the garage but wanted to hear the end of the song that was blaring on the radio. As I sat there with the engine off but the radio on, I noticed no sound on the passenger side. I simply opened the door, slammed it closed, and presto! I had sound again.

I think that is a little like prayer and meditation. Sometimes in the rush of life, we fail to notice that the speaker is out. That we're not receiving the way we should be. We're so concerned with things that are broken, or getting to where we need to go, or the cool car that just passed us, or the funny bumper sticker or the irritating message, that we fail to realize we haven't been catching all that God wants to send to us. We need a respite, a sabbath, a chance to open the door, slam it shut, and pick up the sounds we've been missing.

In my tradition, hearing is a pretty big thing. "(S)he who has an ear, let her/him hear what the Spirit is saying." "How can they hear if no one tells them?" I don't know what your life is like today. But my prayer for you is that you'll take the time to be silent somewhere along the way, slam the door, and enjoy the music and voices you may have been missing just living on 1 speaker.

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