Matt Coker | @MatthewSCoker
My Buick is trying to kill me. It’s playing games with my head, trying to make me think I’m crazy. But I’m not crazy. I know what it’s doing!
You see, when I wake up and start it in the early hours of the morning, it runs just fine. No problem. I mean, if a car’s going to have problems at all, it should be during the morning when it’s been in the cold all night. But not my Buick. It likes the cold.
But, after the warm of the day has hit it while I’m at work, it apparently goes nutzoid. When I leave, its “Check Engine” light comes on.
It begins to drive without my help. It speeds up, its engine cranks, when I’m stopped I can tell that it wants to just keep going, and when I let off the brake it jumps from zero to twenty instantly, like it was waiting to pounce on the car in front of me.
Then, all of a sudden, the next time I come to a stoplight, it’ll die on me. Or, wait, let me clarify… it will run fine until the very moment I need to start moving when the green light comes on, and then it will die, causing me to have to start my engine again, with angry people honking behind me, and I cause everyone to miss this green light and have to sit through the cycle again.
So, then, every single red light becomes a panic attack for me as I curse the light for taking so long to change and mutter to my car, “Don’t die don’t die don’t die don’t die.”
Then, as I pull into my driveway, the “Check Engine” light goes off.
I swear it is trying to kill me! When anybody else drives it, it gives them no problem. It’s only me and it’s only at night. It’s like the Jekyll and Hyde of automobiles!
Don’t look at me like that! I am not crazy!
I’m not crazy I’m not crazy I’m not crazy I’m not crazy I’m not crazy can’t sleep car will eat me can’t sleep car will eat me can’t sleep car will eat me all brake and no gas makes buick a dull car all brake and no gas makes buick a dull car ENIGNEKCEHC
What I need to do is take it in to get serviced.
But I don’t. I just start it up again the next say and hope the problem goes away.
Guilt and shame have the same affect on us as human beings.
We see the warning light and we are faced with two choices: Pull over and address the problem, or break out the light and keep driving until the inevitable breakdown.
We don’t want to admit we have a problem. Sometimes we’re in denial that we even have one, but most of the time we are fully aware, we just don’t want anyone else to know.
So, we slip on our fake smiles and answer every “How are you doing?” with “Fine.”
There is no place we do this more than in church. And almost everybody does it.
We all understand that church is supposed to be a place to build each other up, to pray for each other, to fellowship as a family… So, why is it that we all play “perfection” on Sunday mornings?
How many couples are arguing all the way up to the doors of the church and then smiling as they walk inside?
Deep down in our hearts, as we smile and lie through our teeth about how wonderful we’re doing, we are praying that the person we’re talking to really DOES see through it and offers us help.
But instead, we stuff our problems and hope they go away on their own.
That is the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
Just like my car won’t magically fix itself if I ignore the “Check Engine” light, my life is not going to change by putting on a smile and pretending everything is fine.
Break down those walls of insecurity and ask for help. It might just spark a change in the attitude of everyone at your church, one where people are free to admit that they have problems and smart enough to ask for help and prayer.
Then, we’ll realize that we’re all a little crazy.