I took my car to Atlas Auto Inspection, was in and out in less than 20 minutes, and asked the gentleman if there was anything to be concerned about. In broken English he said, "Nope. Drive it till it breaks down." I did a double take, wondering where that came from, and he proceeded to explain a trucker's wisdom.
Drive it till it breaks down.
That's when you worry about whatever happened. Before the breakdown, you're caring for everything you know to do. Put gas in the tank, change the oil, check the fluids, watch for leaks, replace what's broken––do what you have to do. You don't worry about what may happen or what you might face somewhere down the road. Just hit the road.
Drive it till it breaks down.
You don't worry about a flat tire, but you fix the flat when it happens. And it will happen someday. Maybe not with your current car, or the one after it. It might not ever happen with your car; it might only happen to a friend or family member, but you might be in a position to help them out when it does.
Do you know how to fix a flat tire? Or plug a leak? Or even help with a more serious mechanical issue? If you are the kind of person that knows what do do in a situation like that, you can be a big help to someone who would be helpless without you. You could do the work for them, or show them what they need to do. Or better yet, you could do both and help them in more ways than one.
There are two lessons to take from such a simple word of advice:
- Drive it till it breaks down.
- Fix it when it breaks down.
When we drive a car till it breaks down, we're not leaving it in the garage for fear that something may go wrong, something might break down, or we may have to face an uncomfortable situation. You drive it anyway. You also start to think ahead about how to change tires or how to do minor repairs... or at least who to call if the problem is outside your wheelhouse. You plan. You prepare. And you get to work. Leave the rest to God.
Jesus says a lot about worry and fear. But in brief, he says don't do it. Don't go around meddling, looking into other people's business! Every day has enough trouble of it's own without going around and looking for more. Solomon wrote or collected a proverb that tells us not to go around borrowing trouble. That's what we do when we worry about stuff that hasn't even happened yet. We borrow trouble. We make trouble for ourselves by imagining trouble that could be but, as of right now––it just isn't.
This was such a light bulb moment for me. I do this too much. All the time. I showed my wife a picture of a shirt a friend had purchased––it said, "Hold on. Let me overthink this." Guilty as charged. After she stopped laughing she said, "I know what you're getting for Christmas!" I can be a mess when it comes to moving, I'm so concerned with doing a good job, not wanting to offend, wondering about times in the past that I've offended or not done a good job. You want to talk about things that might've happened or people I might've hurt?! Pull up a chair, get a bigger couch, this is going to take awhile.
I don't want to drive my car like that anymore. I can't spend my life worrying about what was, might've been, could've or should've been, or whoever I might've/didn't/kinda/seriously/surely hurt. The entire point of being found in Christ is that He has already become the atonement for my sins (and they are many). The ones I recall and the ones I don't. My failure to remember the people I've hurt, or to get them out of my mind. I am a mess of sin, apart from Christ. And even with Christ, I am helpless to stand approved apart from Him. He is all my hope and stay, my righteousness and reward. I am a new creation in Him, and yet equally as undeserving and hurting as before I knew Him as Lord and Christ.
I can't meet the expectations of everyone who wants to see this or that in me. What's more, I cannot earn His favor or be the servant of Christ I should be. So what do I do when I find myself slipping below the surface of what the crowd wants (or needs) me to be? I point to Christ alone. What do I do when paralyzation by a world of "What If's?" overtakes me? I look to Christ, and I think on the things above, where Jesus is. I work with what I've got, seek to walk in obedience to Christ in all that I do, and leave all the unknown to Him. I can't see it anyway. So what do I do when I want so desperately to live a life that honors God, encourages others, and sets my kids up to know the Lord in a way I only dream of? What do I do with the only life I've got?
Drive it till it breaks down. Then fix it, or rest in the arms of Jesus. Either way, this life is His to command.
When it's time to submit yourself to inspection, what worries have you found yourself holding on to?