I Need a Car!
I knew Matthew was only trying to help me put things into perspective, but there was a part of me that wanted to scream, "Well, I don't need a kidney! I need a car!" But I kept quiet so as to not sound like a selfish jerk.
"I know you're right," I said without much enthusiasm in my voice. "But I still really want my own car. How am I supposed to just stop wanting that?"
"I don't have an easy answer for you," Matthew said. "There's no pill you can swallow to stop craving material things. My best advice is to take a hard look at your life right now. It's pretty amazing, really. … Recognize it. Appreciate it. Thank God for it."
Instead of arguing, I got kind of quiet for a moment. I thought about the stack of auto magazines I'd been drooling over for the past six months. I thought about how shallow my thinking gets sometimes. There were way more important things to me than whether I had my own car—things like my family and my friends. (I was glad I had so many to be jealous of!) More than anything, I cared about my relationship with Jesus. I wanted to continue to grow in Christ—to love him, worship him, glorify him—and I didn't need a car to do that.
Before hanging up, Matthew reminded me of one more reason not to rush to go car shopping.
"Remember the prank you pulled on your friend in youth group last year?" he asked.
"Oh, you mean Saran Wrapping Justin's Toyota?" I asked.
"Yeah," Matthew said. "You better watch yourself if you ever get some wheels."
"Yeah, you're right," I agreed. "Maybe hitching rides isn't so bad after all!"
Ryan Tresler Ryan, currently a senior, was without a car for most of high school, though he did chip in with his parents this year to buy a used car.
* names have been changed
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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