I call her Beastie. It’s a term of endearment.
Blighted by sun and a really bad paint job, she looks like she’s rusting through. All over.
The term “beater car” comes to mind.
She’s been driven all over the state of Florida and beyond. We bought her used, but that never took away from the joy of having a car that got great gas mileage and easy maneuverability.
The kids have all driven her. Many times. To games. Practices. College. Fun places. Not such fun places.
We’ve put a lot of miles on her, but she still drives well. Reliable. Air conditioning works. Total repairs have been minimal.
But poor Beastie looks like a junker. A salvaged car. A pile of metal waiting for the scrap heap.
I’ve not been bothered by her looks. I’m grateful for a consistent ride.
Until a few days ago.
A late model Honda Accord pulled up next to me at a traffic light. With five young men overflowing the seats. High schoolers, most likely. The car they drove was shiny, dent free and classy.
I watched peripherally as they pointed at my car. Laughing.
It was the first time I was really embarrassed about driving my sad looking Toyota.
Where’s my loyalty?
The reason her name is Princess is that she sits in the driveway and does nothing. She’s been in the shop or broken and incapacitated in front of our house more than she’s ever been driven.
The sad truth is I’d rather drive Princess. She looks good. But there isn’t a faithful spark plug in her makeup. I’ve not been able to count on her to get me anywhere without the possibility of breaking down or not making it back home.
How shallow can I possibly be?
I truly appreciate the reliability of Beastie. I hadn’t minded her sad state. Until someone else’s perception of her made me think she wasn’t good enough to drive.
How often have I come to conclusions about people by the way they look? Or how they’re perceived by others? How often have I missed the chance for a great relationship because I couldn’t be bothered to consider someone who didn’t appear to me to be worth my time?
When the prophet Samuel was looking to anoint the new king of Israel, he assumed it would be a young man who looked royal. Who appeared strong and capable. God had other ideas.
“But God told Samuel, ‘Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7
It’s easy to be taken in by a pretty or popular face. Or a shiny exterior. I assume if something looks good, it’s worth my time and attention. Too often I’ve found that pretty actually adds up to pathetic. What I’m looking for is reliability, genuineness, true character.
I need to learn to see the beauty in the Beastie.