Friday, January 2, 2009

The Parable of the Windshield

The New Year is always a time of self-analysis and resolutions. A couple years ago I came up with an an analogy based upon a simple windshield repair experience. I thought in the effort to be more Christ-like this year (but not to be sacrilegious) I thought I would turn it into a parable. I was going to save it for a talk in church, but I figured now would be a decent time as well. Please feel free to leave any insights into this analogy.

The Book of Jennette

1. Behold, a certain traveler, who had much commute, beheld some chips and a small crack in the windshield of her Corolla.

2. For the Corolla, being of much dependability, nevertheless, having traveled on diverse roads, sustained some minor damages.

3. And the traveler did ignore the damages, for she had little time and money.

4. And it came to pass on one hot, late spring day, the traveler had noticed the crack suddenly increased in size, yea, even longer than half the length of the windshield. And the traveler was grieved. Yea, she cried, I have a road trip of 2 weeks to embark upon soon, and I do fear much the highway patrol or that some greater damage may come upon my car.

5. And she did seek out the great book of information. Yea, a book of much wisdom, thickness and whose pages were of yellow.

6. And she came upon an ad that promised repair of very little cost. And the traveler rejoiced.

7. And the traveler journeyed unto a strange land, yea, even unto the boonies of Fontana.

8. And the repair man said unto the traveler: "Verily, Verily, I say unto you, I behold your cracked windshield and I exhort thee to replace it, yea, even the entire windshield. For the crack is very large and is beyond repair." And this did grieve the traveler much.

9. Nevertheless, the traveler had been blessed with means to repair her windshield, yea, even her financial aid, for she had spent it carefully. And she was also blessed to have a book for which to pass away the time as she waited upon a couch of much age.

10. And after much time had passed, she beheld her car with it's new windshield, yea, and also pieces of tape that were of bright blue. And the traveler rejoiced, for her view was much clearer and magnificent than she could remember, and she went forth on her journey...

Points learned...

When I was younger, I started driving with my parents around the empty parking lots of the church and park. These were the safest areas to drive. But as I got older, life took me on some roads that were a little harsh. Sometimes it was the road itself: potholes, construction zones, and other times it was other vehicles on the road, semi-trailers and cement trucks flinging matter into the air, only to chip at my paint and windshield. I learned that it's best to keep a greater distance from these vehicles...
Often these little chips and cracks will get bigger due to certain forces. Sometimes we forget to roll the windows up and heat builds up on the inside, causing sudden enlargements of the cracks in our windshield. Our windows, as necessary as they are sometimes, may also become barriers to things that are good. Guidance and inspiration are as necessary and wonderful as fresh air. Hot, stuffy air needs to be let out, just like our worries, anxieties, mistakes, bad habits, etc..., or it can do some damage.
When we begin to analyze these cracks, it may not be easy at first. We may have to go places that we don't want to go to or experience things that might make us feel uncomfortable. Often, changes, or the process of changing, may be outwardly visible to others, like the bright blue tape that holds the windshield on for the next 72 hours. While it may be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing, it is only for a moment and will eventually be forgotten. But when all is said and done -- the fears have been faced, the changes made, the price has been paid -- our view of life will be clearer and more beautiful than ever.
So, what chips and cracks do we have to repair, or remove completely from our lives? Is it a sin, a bad habit, or any other weakness that we need to overcome? A grudge that we have to let go? I hope everyone has a happier new year that brings more peace, clarity, and beauty to their lives.

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