Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The New Car Window Sticker

When I was younger it was common to leave the sticker in the window of a new car for a week or two. I remember doing that with my first new car. It was a 1985 two door Chevy Cavalier, maroon with a gray interior.

I bought it in Daytona Beach, just before we relocated to the Atlanta area. It had a sporty look, and a lot of torque for a four cylinder engine. I had traded my old, worn out Chevette hatchback that I bought from my brother. I was riding in style and was proud to display the window sticker for everyone to see. It announced to the world that I was driving a brand new car.

After a week or so, Cheri encouraged me to remove the sticker. I carefully scraped it out of the window and put it in the glove box. There was something about it that made me want to keep it. Maybe it was because it represented my first new car.

Just a few short months after I bought it, someone rear ended me at a traffic light. I had the damage repaired, but the newness was wearing off quickly.

A few years later, a hole developed in the exhaust manifold. It was no longer under warranty, and I delayed the expense of the repair as long as I could. But I grew tired of driving with the window down to avoid breathing exhaust fumes and forked over a healthy sum for the repair. The new car smell had been replaced with the odor of exhaust.

In 1991, we were transferred to Cleveland, Ohio. A year later, the Cavalier's heater stopped working. We had two kids and one income, so I drove it through the entire winter with no heater. There were times that I would get home from work and would be so cold I would continue to shiver for awhile after I got home.

When we moved back to the Atlanta area in 1993, I was still driving the Cavalier The paint was fading on the trunk lid, and the rattles and other mechanical problems grew in prevalence

In 1995, after driving it for ten years, I sold it to a used car dealer for $400. The dealer was going to wholesale it to a junkyard for parts. As I emptied the car of my personal effects, I found the window sticker in the glove box. I was reminded that ten years earlier it had been a shiny new car. Now it was headed to the junkyard.

It's nice to get new things. But whether it's a new car, a new house, or a new computer or iPhone, the newness wears off and we're left with something old, outdated, or obsolete. The pursuit of "new" is never-ending.

The Bible tells us to lay up treasures that will last forever. Those treasures have nothing to do with material possessions. They have everything to do with bringing people into God's kingdom.

Forget about the new car sticker in the window. That newness will fade and will only be a memory. Focus your time and attention on showing others how to have a relationship with Jesus. That will never grow old!

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