Dented But Not Destroyed

Last week I was involved in a minor fender bender. I perceived that the accident was the other driver’s fault as the damage to my car is to the rear driver side and bumper. However, I received a citation for failure to maintain a safe lookout. That is a blog for another day (after I go to court). First and foremost, I praise God that that no one was injured and I was able to get in my much dented and bruised paid in full car and drive to work. It is my intention to upgrade for my 50th birthday but that is still some months away.

However, the accident caused me to take pause and reflect on the overall condition of my car. Despite the dragging bumper cover shown in the picture above, the car is drivable. Cars are modes of transportation to get you from point A to point B and that is pretty much how I look them. This is only the second car I have owned in my forty-eight years. It was purchased new after my first car, which I purchased after earning my undergraduate degree, had the transmission go out for the second time. I left it at the Nissan dealership and never looked back as I jumped ship to Toyota.

I have never been one to focus on owning a fancy car. I like the look of a Lexus or Mercedes. When I ride in modern cars with high technology sound systems and back up assistance screens, I am impressed. Yet it just doesn’t make we want to run out and buy a new car. I prefer to spend my money on fine dining, travel and entertainment. I may not have anything to show for my expenditures once it is over except a fuller stomach, pictures posted in Face book and Instagram, passport stamps and ticket stubs, but the memories are priceless.

A walk-around my car reveals many dings and dents. I admit many are self-inflicted. One dent represents my impatience one year as I hastily left the Southern Heritage Classic game. In an effort to beat the crowd, I took out some stake in the ground that I obviously didn’t see. Once I was backing out of a parking spot and bumped into another vehicle that was also backing up. There was minimal to no damage so we opted not to call the police and kept it moving. During a period of high stress and distraction, I nearly took out the rear passenger side of my car making too sharp of a right turn into my garage parking space where I live. My space, unfortunately, is beside one of those concrete support beams, which by the way is painted yellow for high visibility. When I first moved in I would cut the steering wheel short as I backed up. It took me a minute to realize I was hitting the beam but I quickly learned that I had to clear the beam before I could turn.

Damage NoneBased on the above, I am sure you question my driving skills and are maybe even thinking that the previously referenced fender bender (which left virtually no damage to the other vehicle) may very well be my fault. But I will let the judge make the decision on that case. Despite my previously self-inflected dings and dents, all the bangs and bruises on my car are not my fault. I was involved in a hit and run once where someone side swiped my car and took the driver side rear view mirror off. There is no evidence of that now as it was repaired. I have been driving down the highway and been hit by rock chips that left cracks in my windshield. I have a split right now going from the passenger side (rock hit in the shade part; it spread before I realized it existed so I could not get the crack sealed) all the way across to the driver side. At one point it stopped midway but the hot weather caused it to spread again. It dipped down when it got to the driver’s side so it is not obstructing my view. However, I know it must be repaired because I risk the windshield falling in on me and I being shattered with glass.

Yes, I risk being shattered by glass and cut to pieces. When I meditate on that cracked clay potit makes me think about this body that houses my soul and spirit. I have been dinged and dented; I’ve been bruised and battered, but I’m still here. I am able to get from point A to point B under my own strength. Despite the personal choices I have made that have left self-inflicted scars on my heart, I’m still here and I am still pressing. It has been said that what does not kill you only makes you stronger. I am a witness. The Word says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body (2 Corinthians 4:7-10).

I know that on this side I will not be perfect, but I am striving for perfection day by day. Each ding and dent that I have experienced, I chose to learn from it. Sometimes I experience temporary amnesia but then when I start to see something familiar and I remember what happened last time, I say no, not again. New methods sometimes blindside you and lead you astray to your old unproductive ways and habits. But there is nothing new under the sun. The method of the enemy may have changed but the devil’s end game is the same…to take your eye off the prize which is Jesus Christ. If you stay in the Word you can stand on the Word and the life of Jesus will be revealed in your body. You can keep pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ.

Patched CarRegardless to the physical affliction to your outward body, as long as your internal organs are protected, you can keep moving. Jesus can heal the broken heart and save the sin sick soul. We are vessels with a whole lot of power with a treasure from the Lord. Yes, I am looking forward to getting a newer model but there is still work yet to be done in this vessel so I have patched her up and I am moving forward. The Corinthian Song by Micah Stamply says, “Bruised and battered but not broken. Born in sin but from sin I’m free because I’m a vessel; got a whole lot of power with a treasure hidden in me”. Thank you Father for your power! Dented but not destroyed, driving to my destiny.

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