by Kristen Cox ◊ Aug 06, 2010
I’m pretty distracted by rela¬tionship struggles.
Relationships are hard. They just are. And it seems like the ones we are closest to are the ones we hurt the most. Those are the ones that have the most headaches, which create the most bruises; the ones that turn us into people we never imagined we could be…door slammers and heart hurters.
During those times, it’s easy to wish for an exit. Often, we start thinking about other people we know, ones with whom it seems to be smooth sailing. Rather than dealing with the problems at hand, it feels like an escape to daydream about future relationships and how much nicer it would be to move on with someone else and have a clean slate. It’s difficult in painful moments to remember that the most intimate relationships, while being incredibly challenging, are also the most rewarding. I have found that it is very easy to forget that fact when hard times come and all I want is a way out of the pain.
I have been experiencing some difficulties of my own lately. On top of that, a very good friend is trying to find a way to save her marriage even after divorce papers have been filed. I was praying about my relationships and her marriage recently, and an analogy came to mind. I don’t know if it was from God…but it seemed like it might be Him. I feel the urge to share it tonight. Are you ready? Here goes.
Relationships are like cars. Now, I only own one vehicle, but I know there are people in the world who own several – and they keep them for different reasons. The sports car for when they want to go fast and aggressive. The restored classic when they are feeling nostalgic. The convertible for when they want to feel the wind in their hair and be carefree. The Vespa scooter for when they want to feel like Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday.” The pickup truck for when they need to haul things. The motorcycle for when they just want to feel tough and cool. And then there’s the plain old sedan – the least glamorous of the fleet, the one you drive every day, the one you use to navigate through your everyday life.
Each of these cars has value, and each serves a purpose to the owner. He doesn’t want to be without any of them. But of all of these cars, the plain old everyday sedan provides the most value to everyday life. It’s the one that, literally, carries you through all of the challenges you encounter, from the mundane, to the painful, to the glorious.
But the sedan requires more maintenance, and that can be costly and tiring. It is driven every day, so it requires a lot more fuel than the others. Let’s say the others are only driven once or twice a month. You probably wouldn’t need to refuel them very often at all. But the car you drive every day will require pretty constant fill-ups. You will also encounter more bumps and dings in the sedan and that will require tune-ups and repairs. Oil changes will need to be more frequent. And, it is far more likely that you will experience a breakdown or an accident in a car you drive every day than in a car you take on a spree every now and then.
We can lament and kick the tires when the sedan runs out of gas. We can curse it when it needs repair. We can tell it that it isn’t being sensitive to our need to get where we want to go. We can even threaten to sell it and find a new car to take its place. But, the truth is that none of those options fixes anything. A new “every daycar” (or close, everyday relationship) would have the same requirements as the old one. The only way to ensure your most trusty and oft-driven vehicle stays road worthy so it can do what it was designed to do is to fill up the tank as necessary and make sure the proper maintenance and repair takes place.
Reprinted by permission. Acquired from www.thiswalk.wordpress.com.