Life’s Broken-Down Cars

A flat tire.  A dead battery.  Keys locked inside. Air conditioning is broke.  You name it there are countless things that can go wrong with your car.

My car has had it’s fair share of problems.  From a cracked gas tank, a few busted springs and a dented door.  But those problems were nothing in comparison to not getting my car to start.

After a nice dinner with friends, I was hoping to make it to an “End of Summer” Party, but as my luck would have it I wouldn’t make it there.  Instead, I was stuck with a lifeless car, the weather muggy and humid.

As it turns out, my car died under the perfect circumstances. I don’t just mean that it could’ve been worse – because it could have – imagine a car dying midwinter in Buffalo!  What I mean is that my car needed to not start.  Yes, I am disappointed I couldn’t make it to my friend’s party, but I gained a lesson I have needed to relearn: sometimes you need to be stopped in your tracks to appreciate what is around you.

While I waited for a tow truck that took a couple hours, I walked with my friends Erin and Chelsea to the nearest bar and grabbed a drink.  I then realized we were right around the block from my friend Matt, who because of busy schedules and obligations I haven’t had the time to make plans with.  So in the time of waiting for a tow truck I was able to extend my laughs and conversations and spend some good quality time with friends. The three of them make up my core of friends and some extra time with them to enjoy some conversation was pretty incredible. After all, being able to just sit with friends share some drinks and laughs are what make up some of my favorite times.  It didn’t hurt that while I was stuck waiting for a tow, these friends wanted to spend some time with me.

My new rule of thumb is that you know you have some really special friends when you can forgo your dead car and the worries that attach themselves to it, in order to kickback and enjoy the time that the situation allows you to spend with them.

Not only was I able to take advantage of my situation by being stuck with friends, but I was also able to find a new appreciation for my dad.  Of course, it seems whenever an issue happens with my car, my dad is the first person I call.  Most likely because he happens to harp on me about it – oil changes, tire rotations, etc.

My dad dropped what he was doing and drove out to the city to try and solve the problem and wait for the tow. After finishing my drink and some bonding time with my friends, my dad met me and we waited. In that time I was fully able to realize how I’ve been giving my dad the short-end of the stick, lately.

My dad and I are two kings in the same castle – stepping on each other’s toes almost everyday.  But when push comes to shove, or when you get stuck with a lifeless car, I have a newfound understanding of how my parents come through for me when I need it.  And this understanding just wasn’t about car troubles, but about how supportive my parents have been.

There is no greater gift a parent can give a child than the tools to become the best person they possibly can be.  And my parents have turned that gift into one that keeps on giving.  I knew I could sit there by myself and wait for the tow, but it was nice to know my dad wanted to be there to help me out.  It’s always a good feeling to know the support you have even when you aren’t the most appreciative of it.  Sometimes it just takes a bad circumstances to make you see the good.

So my car wouldn’t start and I’m thankful to God for it because it gave me the time to get stuck, the world to stop for a couple hours and for me to appreciate the people and the things that matter most.

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