Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

-“The Chevrolet Corvair…the most dangerous automobile on the road…”

–“Unsafe at Any Speed” by Ralph Nader

-“Ralph Nader, kiss my rear-mounted engine!”

–teenage Shelbo

-But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

–2 Corinthians 12:9

I drove a lot of old clunkers in my youth, and, you know, they all had their flaws…those unfixable, unchangeable quirks (a sticky ignition switch, a whistling vent) that became “aftermarket options.” These could’ve been annoying, but I chose to see them as endearing…unique aspects of each vehicle’s character that somehow made it even more loveable. Every squeak and clank became just part of the adventure.

My favorite car ever was my first one…a 1965 Corvair convertible…red, white top, black interior, shifter on the dashboard. No, it didn’t have power steering, or ABS, or a backup camera, but you could easily unlock it with a coat hanger, and it did killer donuts in snowy parking lots (thanks to that rear-mounted engine!). The practically non-existent back seat accommodated piles of giddy, screaming girls to the 7-11 and back during our (practically non-existent) school lunch breaks. Of course, in the whole “reason, season, life” rubric of relationships, Dino-Vair wasn’t meant, couldn’t be, for life…

Just one glorious season.

Every day I’d start that rusty, dusty, trusty steed, and we’d go flying over the gravel, top down, defiantly joyful…until the next “motor mishap” brought us limping into the shop at the farm…

“Dad! Dad! Daaaaaad! Help!”

“Huh,” would intone a muffled voice from beneath a tractor, “sounds like a ______…”

In short order, he’d apply his special brand of automotive triage, and we’d be…miraculously…on the road once more.

He could reanimate the most hopeless heap…

“You’re driving Monty Mustang to QUEBEC?”

“Well, yeah.” (Uh, what’s the big deal? it’s only 1,800 miles.)

“It’ll never make it, Shel.”

“Well, Dad, it has to. And if you can’t do it, no one can.”

He shrugged. He fixed it. And, yes, it/we made it.

Those cars are gone…but this old girl is still here. She’s been going through a rather rough patch these past four months, taken some hits, a sideswipe or two, a fresh collection of scratches, dings, and dents…

Three loved ones passing away (a cousin, a friend, and a brother-in-law)…

Extensive research, tests, and stress for a troubling diagnosis (finally negated and resolved)…

And now, Covid (because, well, it felt like, per usual, crashing the party)…

And He’s been there. He fixes, He heals, He restores…and He loves me, quirks and all…my Master Mechanic…and The Manufacturer to boot!

“Father! Father! Faaaaaaather! Help!”

Each morning, His Word goes in the glovebox of my heart, I fill my tank with prayer, and proceed down the highway of today…guided by the best GPS on the market…

His Holy Spirit.

James 5:13–Is anyone suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

To my Lord I give all the glory, all the honor, all the credit…for every single mile.

I’m an imperfect clunker, but I have a perfect God!

These rattles are the percussion of my praise…

The loudest worship I can offer.



2 thoughts on “Clunkers…”

  1. From George
    Enjoyed your words. Now that I have your blog address, I will be reading often. Lu says “Hi”

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