Home > God > Revelations from a Corolla

Revelations from a Corolla

When I began working in 2003, I drove a 1992 Corolla, which I had been driving since high school.  An 11-year-old car is far from a terrible thing, but to give you an idea of the condition of my particular Corolla, I used to cross my fingers at vehicle emissions tests since it often failed. I once took it in for an oil change and when the mechanic removed the  drain plug, a drop or two of oil was all that came out. I thought I knew how far I could push it until I’d run out of gas, but one time I hit the accelerator and the car wouldn’t move. Thankfully, I was at the top of an incline so I rolled down to the gas station, dug around my ash tray for some change and get a gallon of fuel. This happened on several occasions.

My coworkers would often tell me to buy a new car. “You’re making money now, buy yourself a new car,” they’d say. My friends, who eagerly piled into my car in high school and college, no longer wanted rides in the Crapolla. Despite all that, I loved my car. Remarkably, it got good gas mileage (30+MPG), once the A/C got going, it blew out frost, provided a good arm workout with its manual windows, and had a built-in speeding ticket deterrent device: if I ever drove faster than 65MPH, the car would shake violently, and I’d likely lose a muffler, both bumpers, and hubcaps.

There were some things about it, however, that I didn’t enjoy. Near the top of the list was how long it would take the heater to get going – this was one of the reasons no one wanted a ride in the colder months. I had a 30 minute commute to work, so for about 20 minutes, I was freezing cold. But you know what? When that heater kicked in, it felt so good! I would often shout, “Hallelujah,” because it felt so good!

Nowadays, I drive a newer car and the heater and A/C work almost immediately. While driving the car is very comfortable, I certainly don’t have that moment of exhilaration when, after holding your hands in front of the vents praying for heat, the hot air kicks in. In fact, I hardly think about the heater at all, unless it’s not working.

I find this true about my faith as well. In good times, I hardly think about my faith, but I’m not a fan of times of trials and troubles, either. If it were up to me, I would rather lead a comfortable, problem-free existence, but that’s usually not how life pans out. Whether it’s work, an incredible loss, times of grief or uncertainty, life is far from comfortable. Yet, without times of difficulty, I don’t believe I would appreciate when things change for the better. For those in DC, just think of how amazing those beautiful, zero humidity weekends are after weeks of humidity levels that cause you to question when the last time you showered was.

The Bible says

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8

What I love most about this verse is that there is purpose in life; and what we may view as meaningless events or coincidences are actually things God has a plan for. And what is His plan? In this verse and in Matthew 22:37, I think it all boils down to loving God and loving others as ourselves. So difficult, trying times are actually God’s way of making us love Him? Yes. His plan is not to make me a comfortable Christian, who’ll gripe at the first sign of trouble; God wants to make me like His Son, who gave up all heavenly comfort for the sake of love.

And not just any love, but the most ridiculous love the world has ever known. He didn’t really need to die on the cross to save us; He merely had to die. Yet, He allowed Himself to be cursed, that we might no longer be. He didn’t need to take lashes on His back; but by His stripes we are healed. He didn’t need to go to such lengths, but He did because He wanted to do more than make a way for us: He wanted to be acquainted with our sufferings.

Amazing love, how can it be, that You my King should die for me?

So if you’re going through a difficult time, don’t worry, the heater is about to kick in, and it’s going to be glorious.

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Categories: God Tags: , , , , , ,
  1. Alicia
    June 4, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Good post – very timely to my life. Thanks, Pop!

    • Pop
      June 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

      Praying for you, Alicia! Hope the photo business is going well! 🙂

  2. Dionne Baldwin
    June 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Did you write this for me?? JK. But seriously thanks for posting. Perfect timing.

    • Pop
      June 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Glad it was helpful, Dionne! God bless you! 🙂

  3. June 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Great! Loving the dad posts too. I am thinking God is really good at getting my attention but then when I’m listening to Him I say, “what? I can’t hear you.” when really I mean “I don’t like that. Wanna tell me something else, please?” I guess when I said He could have everything, He meant it. 😉
    PS I’m driving a 95 Camry and it needs exhaust work but I have electric windows. WE just put about 700 into it this winter, knowing the exhaust was coming up and I’m pretty attached to the sweet little thing. 🙂

    • Pop
      June 4, 2010 at 11:23 pm

      haha~ Being a dad is so neat for me b/c I’m learning so much about God the Father. My daughter is 2 now, and she’s becoming really smart! When she knows she’s doing something she’s not supposed to and I say something, she pretends not to have heard me. She thinks I’m trying to ruin her fun when in fact, I’m looking out for her best interests. Similarly, I tend to avoid or ignore God when I’m not hearing what I want to hear 😛 but being a Father myself, and a fallible one at that, I’m starting to understand how well He cares for me!

      WOOHOO! GO CAMRY! I miss my Corolla so much! Have a great weekend!

      • June 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm

        Isn’t that the truth! I probably am thinking something very similar to your two year old; I’m so mature! But yes, parenting definitely gives one insight into our Heavenly Father. Great stuff.

        Did you check out John Shore yet? I don’t know if you’d like him or not, but I appreciate his approach to representing Christ to the world.

        • Pop
          June 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm

          I’m actually following his blog. Really good stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  4. June 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    So so true! Very good post. There is def something to be said about enjoying the good stuff more when you’ve gone through the bad.

  5. June 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I never learn anything from my good times. Only from my trials and tribulations. Thank you for posting this. Your analogy is AMAZING!

    Also I lovingly own a 2005 Corolla. It shakes at 70 mph =)

    • Pop
      June 17, 2010 at 8:51 am

      70mph?! That’s pretty good! 😛

      I think I’d make my life a lot easier if I learned through the good times as well.

  6. June 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Beautifully put, Twin! I’ve been reading from a great devotional by Joyce Meyer, and she drills the point home that through the mundane and through the tests, our faith grows. Amen to that!

    • Pop
      June 17, 2010 at 8:51 am

      I once heard it said like this: testing is from God and temptation is from the devil. You can distinguish the two b/c through a test, God wants your faith to grow, whereas temptation is leading you into sin. Jesus taught us to pray, “and lead us not into temptation,” not “lead us not into tests,” b/c God wants our faith to grow.

  7. Carl D'Agostino
    June 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I have made humor comments to some of your things today and yesterday but let me tell you! I am a BA and MA (religion) retired high school history teacher. You don’t know it but YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST INSIGHTFUL THEOLOGIANS OF OUR TIME. “He wanted to be acquainted with our sufferings” explains an answer to all those who lose faith, refuse to believe, or hate God because of human suffering in the world. He gave His son to suffer with us and through this communion of experience we may become one with Christ by accepting His invitation and covenant. I think the religions stress the crucifixion or the resurrection as sin forgiveness or salvation stuff but forget the meaning of the suffering part as His human connection with people. I think this is the true meaning of the cross. Accept my complements for such a profound understanding which most of my professors dismissed and gave me C’s on my papers on this topic.

    • Pop
      June 17, 2010 at 8:48 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Carl. And indeed, I’m amazed every time I think about the cross. Thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  1. June 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm

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