Hi everyone, my name is Angela (hi Angela) and I have an obsession with tires. Whenever I see I car, pass a car, or ride in a car, I always default to inspect the tires. Does that look like a slight leak in the front left there? Are the tires even? Tread’s looking a little shabby. Whoa, that back one is way too wobbly for highway safety, you hazard to mankind.
And there it goes. The nature of someone’s tires now becomes a personal reflection on their character.
Michelin= High maintenance.
Spinners= Too cool for school.
Bridgestone= Ooh just like me. Maybe we can be friends.
Monster tires= Sucker for affirmation and/or lack of masculine identity.
Mud on the tires= A little on the wild side. let’s race.
Low air= Irresponsible driver.
Perfectly filled, completely balanced tires= I highly respect you and where is your blog that I might follow.
Before you completely discredit me, take a moment to walk into my life, allow me to explain, and get to the heart of the situation. I believe I can trace this destructive behavior back to the nucleus (that’s right Nacho) of this tire obsession:
- Jolt 1: When I first bought my 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe 2 years ago, I noticed some odd issues with the tires. Just… weird thumping noises. Instead of taking it to the shop, I thought I’d ignore it and allow it to work itself out. But reality started shouting, and quite frankly the tires were louder than Ryan Stiles’ shoes. It impeded conversation and left my friendships and personal sanctity on the brink of diaster. So to save face and my throbbing head, I took it to the shop. Ah, needed new tires. Let’s do it. So new tires on, peace ensued, and the Angela/tire relationship settled.
- Jolt 2: Last year I visited a close friend in North Carolina and on my way back, out of NO WHERE, my tire fizzled. on the side of the highway. in the woods. in the dark. Now, I have extensively traveled alone since I was 15. I love to travel and driving is a pleasure. But I have never truly been alone and stranded before in my life, much less on a cold empty forest predator-laden highway at night. I may have whimpered. Yet thanks to the help of my amazing dad’s advice and a policeman’s kindness, I was able to eventually dig myself out of the situation, though not without a slight reprimand to check the air in my tires on a regular basis, you girl you (emphasis mine. words mine).
- Jolt 3: Recently I noticed that my front right tire was depleting. Filled it up. 1 week later deflated again. Repeat. Repeat again. Finally I took it to the tire shop for the obviously needed repair. Somehow a screw got inside? Weird. But got ‘er patched up and good to go.
Because of these frequent experiences I’ve become a bit of a freakazoid and legalist about not only my tires, but EVERYONE ELSE’S.
How ironic. My whole life I could have cared less about tires, until my own were giving me problems. And as I found solutions, I began to be super introspective, very analytical, and reactionary to the slightest possible issue with my car’s tires.
Is it not the same way with the faults and sins that have surfaced in my own life? It’s not like tires are a new thing. And neither is pride. or arrogance. or gossip. or lust. or selfishness. or lack of self control. or self righteousness. or anger. But when that certain sin is exposed in my life, I recognize it and seek to deal with it, yet all of a sudden, I see it. Everywhere. I see my selfishness, my coworker’s selfishness, my brother’s selfishness, my best friend’s selfishness, my outreach leader’s selfishness. Since God has revealed my sin so clearly, I am now keenly aware of those same shortcomings and failings of everyone around me. That one’s off balance, that one leans to the right, ooh that one to the left, oh my word those morons are driving on flattened almost shredded tires! Can’t they open their eyes and realize the issue?? It’s destructive!
Earlier this summer I took notice of my friend’s car as she was leaving church– all of her tires where basically dragging the ground. I called her and said, “Hey, you reeeeally need some air. Believe me, I’ve been there and you don’t want to go through what I did.” She didn’t know how to put air in her tires, so although I was hungry and it was raining and I really wanted to put it off until later and send her a youtube link, we drove across the street to the gas station. I took a dollar inside to get quarters, filled up all her tires, and then gave her some tips that I had learned about taking care of tires. Afterwards? I was so happy. Something so simple gave me so much joy.
Simple conclusions here. You sin. all the time. period. And your sin is not uncommon. So once you are exposed to the depth and grossness of it, be prepared to see “yourself” in other people and to be blown away by the same amount of sin and blindness in them that you yourself are prone to.
But ok HEY, stop being so distracted! I see a car and all I see are tires. I see relationships and all I see are faults. That’s totally missing the point and this is why grace is so key. Default to grace-eyes and help your brothers and sisters in their weaknesses so that they may not have to fall as hard as you did. Your experience with past sin makes you sensitive so that you can call out and say, “Hey you reeeeally need some help. Believe me, I’ve been there and you don’t want to go through what I did.” Then take your dollars and time and grace and invest it in another life. To live in secret victory over secret sins steals growth from others and joy from you.
Oh, and by the way, I currently have a nail in my front right tire. That’s right. a whole freaking nail. It’s been there, hm, probably 3 weeks. But hey, I’m still driving smooth and the tire doesn’t look too bad. But boy when I saw that other Santa Fe on the highway this afternoon with a wobbly back tire did I get offended.
Maybe I need to take the massive nail out of my own tire before I start pointing out the insignificant air leaks in the other tires around me. Direct quote from Matthew 7 (version mine).
Very good. Sermon quality.