Monday, July 30, 2007

What Would Jesus Drive...A '51 Chevy Pickup...?

I'm sitting in a circle of teenagers yesterday when the question was tossed out to be kicked around, "Is there something you always wanted, but never got?" There were several standard "I'm clearly in the throes of puberty" kinds of answers, that I awkwardly identified with, along with several answers that were remarkably profound, and not only way beyond what I would have offered when I was their age, but considerably more self-aware that I would offer now. The answer...a 1957 cherry red Corvette.
Now in my defense, there were very few teenage boys with a pulse in the mid to late 1960's who did not also lust after that high octane beauty...but it got me to thinking. A couple of weeks ago I was in North Louisiana at a camp and my friend John strolled over to my beloved 1993 ford F-150 pickup truck and cattily asked, "Dave, have you ever owned a vehicle that was not at least 10 years old?" It was a fair question...we don't see each other very often and the last three vehicles he had seen me drive were the '93 pickup, a '91 Montero, and a '73 Caprice Classic (yeah, I know , sweeeeet!). The last new car I bought for the family to drive was a 1986 Colt Vista...a bold, but crappily designed, step by the Chrysler Co. to blaze a trail into the new SUV/wagon/van market. 200,000 miles (it had spunk if not much else) later it gave up the ghost, and I decided I would drive pre-owned cars from there on out. My first car, that I bought while in college with hard-earned minimum wage ($1.60 at the time) dollars for $500 cash money, was a beautiful 1962 Impala Super Sport hard top. It's puny little 265 hp engine was about half of the power of the Corvette I had dreamed of, but it was a champ and drove the 1000 mile round trip from Baton Rouge to Baylor U. many many times over the next three years. One of the things I've come to realize about myself as I've grown a lot older and a tiny bit wiser, is that most of my early car dreams were about image and not practicality or utility. So were my houses and my clothes, and a bunch of other things I decided I wanted and needed. A number of years ago, Sociologist Tony Campolo got into a little hot water (not a new experience for Tony) by making the statement that Jesus would never have driven a BMW. I'll let you take that one up with Tony, but the furor and discussion led eventually to a website (not started by Tony) called I'm not kidding...but I love it, because it calls us to examine not only our motives, but out priorities in using the resources God has given... and not only us personally, but the also those he has given us as caretakers of this planet.

So..I'll hang on to my pickup as long as it will run, and I have moved out of the suburbs into town to be close to the office and save gas...and I'll keep looking for ways to be a better steward of my stuff. By the way...even though I still think the '57 Corvette is a beauty, I've set my sights on a new dream vehicle...a 1951 5-window Chevy pickup...yeah, just like the ones in the middle of every Old Navy store with the plastic dog sitting up in the front that is a sweet ride...without the 150 assorted t-shirts sitting on the back fenders.



Friday, July 27, 2007

Cancer bites...Thomas rules...

So this is my very first blog post. And... I really intended, when I finally joined the blogwagon, to write something incredibly witty charming and powerful...which would never have happened, but at least I intended that way. I have followed the blogs of some of my friends and favorite people and have been encouraged to follow suit by friends and family, but it never happened...until now...Thomas ( has inspired me...Thomas is an active adorable, rambunctious nearly two year old with amazing parents, Scott and Sarah Bickle, who this past week got the gut wrenching news that Thomas's cancer had returned. Yeah, I know... when you are two, the words "cancer showed up" should never have to be spoken, but " the cancer returned" is completely unacceptable. The tumor (ependymoma) was discovered when he was 6 months old, was removed, chemo and then radiation were administered over the next year. Things have been going well lately, until the news this week that a new small tumor had been discovered. There will be surgery early next week and then more chemo for the brave Mr. T. A couple of things come to mind...but mostly I'm just angry...This is not even remotely fair...and if I even hear one of you begin to breath those words "but life's not fair!", I'm gonna clock you with my harp...OK, I don't really have a harp and my Martin is too pretty and of sentimental value to waste even on sensible violence. Still remains...this is not fair...I'm not really mad at God...I am old so, eventually you learn that all of these things you have witnessed and experienced don't match up with a God of mercy and compassion and justice. Which means there is another explanation or God doesn't exist. Because I am old I have a whole lot of stuff in column A that won't let me blow off the notion of God. It just has convinced me that God is not consulting me on every disappointing thing that happens in my life, and we... as really irresponsible tenants in this amazing creation of his really don't deserve our deposits back. We, if fact, have set some scary shit in motion with our "we are rockstars and we can trash the Holiday Inn Express room if we want" attitudes about living in community and being responsible stewards of the planet we call home. And Thomas had absolutely nothing to do with that.

But Thomas still has cancer and I'm still crying tonight for him and Scott and Sarah...and I'm still praying because I still believe that they belong in column A.

Pling, Pling...(that's harp strings signing off...)