I turned onto the small street next to my youngest son’s preschool and checked my rearview mirror to make sure no one was behind me. Then I stopped, rolled down the front passenger window, and handed my phone to my older son (12).
“Take a picture of that taxi’s rear tire,” I said.
“The flat one?”
“Yep. Just the tire. For my blog.”
“Because it’s been like that for two weeks.”
He turned from the open window, his expression a mixture of surprise and judgment.
“Why don’t they fix it!??!” he asked.
“I don’t know. Just take the picture.”
My son’s reaction was exactly the one I expected. To be fair, it’s been mine, too. As the days have passed, I keep wondering why in the world someone doesn’t come out and change the tire, for goodness sake. How hard could it be? And it’s a taxi – of all things. This driver could be out there making money from the use of this vehicle if only he or she would change the tire.
But then again….maybe making this change is harder than I think…
Perhaps the person would need help with the jack and lug nuts, and doesn’t feel comfortable asking any of the neighbors. Worse yet, maybe no neighbors have come forward to offer assistance.
The taxi is not in pristine condition. It is dinged and battered. It’s traveled more than a few roads. The driver might have purchased it on a hope and a prayer, and doesn’t have a spare tire, or funds, to get a replacement. Perhaps this tire was the last straw on this vehicle, and the owner has fallen into despair.
Though spring is here, there is still sickness going around…remnants of flu and winter viruses that knock people out for weeks. There are more serious diseases too, of course. The driver, or that person’s family, might be ill and need costly medical care.
The possible reasons for this unchanged flat tire are endless. And I will likely never know why the situation is as it is. However, it has made me think: Where is my ‘flat tire’?
What aspect of my life do other people see and say, “She should really fix that”? Is it the way I dress? Or do my hair? Something about my home? Or maybe something less superficial… A relationship? A character defect? A career choice? A religious practice?
It bothers me to think about that, because I don’t want people scrutinizing my life and making judgments about it. My guess is, you don’t want others to do that to you, either. No one else has the inside scoop on what’s up with me, or you.
Besides, how do I know whether something in my life is a ‘flat tire’ that requires attention and care? That can be tough to see. And how long can it stay ‘flat’ before it’s holding me back from something more that I could be doing with my numbered days? Further, where do I go for guidance and help with changing that ‘tire’?
The answers to these questions are all one and the same. We are told, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” (Luke 6:37) The emphasis in this teaching is not that we are to be concerned with whether other people will judge us, but instead to keep our focus on the Lord, trusting in His promise to “make all things new” – even us. (Revelation 21:5)
So when I’ve filled my head with so many ‘flat tires’ I believe everyone else sees when they look at me, there’s only one way to find real relief. I go into my room, close the door, get on my knees and listen for the “tiny whispering sound.” (1 Kings 20:12)