Friday, February 22, 2013

Yellow Lamborghinis

Dream car? Lamborghini. Sunshine yellow, preferably, the color of pure happiness. I can just see myself cruising along the California coast with sunglasses on and brunette hair flying, relaxing to the breeze off the ocean and watching the waves crash against the shores. Blissful sigh. Odds are good that if that dream ever comes true, I'm sure I'll be fifty-something and my hair will be grey and my eyesight too bad to see the view as clearly as I see it now in my head. It's still a good dream.

Lately I've been talking to the kids in my life about love. Suddenly, now that Levi left me and technically I'm surviving the cold waters of a breakup, I've become an expert on love advice, apparently. At least to them. Not so much to myself. I mean, if I'm such an expert, the results aren't so good. Yesterday my car spun out on the highway and into a ditch at 60 miles an hour, when the car ahead of me lost control and did a 360. I had nowhere to go but the ditch, and missed T-boning my little borrowed car into the support beams for the overpass bridge by 5 literal feet. God sent an angel to shove my car out of the ditch and up the hill, rolling down to sink back into the ditch nose-first on the other side of the bridge beam. It was epic. I was never so scared in my life. First thought? Call Levi. About three excruciating seconds later, reality sunk in and I readjusted my plan. Call Dad. He was a thousand miles away but he was right there for me. For Valentines, I received a beautiful sculpted heart necklace from my parents to remind me that there is someone who will always, always love me. Lesson? Love your family, they will always be there for you no matter how busy they are or weighted down with priorities or how far away they are. Thanks, Dad.

But the kids I've been talking to aren't really in the same boat as me. Three or four successive breakups, and they are in tears about their future, in tears about their past, and disillusioned about love. God reminded me of my dream car, and I swallowed my pride to talk to them about what I really believed to be a major happening in today's youth (high school, college, everyone, really.)

It's like this. When you're born, God gives you a shiny yellow Lamborghini. My oh my but how beautiful it is, so shiny, so perfect, every curve and gleam just flawless from the dealership show floor. That's your heart. That's the gift of your love, that you carry within you. The keys are in your hand. It's all yours.

But what if no one notices? That sad, lonely feeling of not being loved. Of no one caring. Of no one even noticing what an amazing car you know you have. I think a lot of kids are like that. They are so excited to show off their car - who wouldn't be? It's the natural desire. The trouble is, they don't protect their car.

Along comes someone in nice clothes, with a big smile, and notices the car. WOW! What an awesome car! You light up with a smile as big as fireworks, giddy that someone has finally noticed. "Thanks!" you say, "Wanna go for a ride?" "Sure!" "Just be careful not to go too fast," you might caution. They assure you that they won't. They are a safe driver, for sure.

Big problem? You don't know them. You don't know their driving skills, or what their intentions are for your car. You judge them by how they look, how they act, and what they say... but you don't wait to see who they are. You just get so excited that someone has noticed your car, and give them the keys. The ending? They wreck the car. Or they steal it. Or they don't take care of it and let it get banged up. Why should they take care of it, anyways? They don't know you. It's not their car. It was a lucky find.

Now, you're left with a banged up Lamborghini and the value is wayyyy less. Talk about sadness, hurt, and all the rest of the emotions that come along with it. But the next person that comes by, and notices, you do the same thing. Wow! A Lamborghini! Kinda beat up, but, wow! A real Lamborghini?! You may be a little less quick to give them the keys, but you do. "Please be careful." "Don't worry, I'll never hurt it like the last person."

A big mistake later, you find yourself alone with a car in even worse condition. The cycle continues. Until suddenly you aren't sure of yourself at all. Do you even have a nice car? Does it even run anymore? Is there anyone in the world worth trusting? So much pain and confusion.

Your heart is your dream car. You can't just hand the keys over. You have to wait and see who the person really is. It may be lonely or impatient to wait, but you must protect your car. If it seems to be turning out well, you may offer to let the person go for a ride WITH you. Keep waiting until you are sure, convinced from God, that the person is trustworthy of the keys, before you hand them over.

Who do you let drive your car? Your family, your best friend, maybe? Very few other people. A car costs a lot of money, and the damage from a wreck can be lethal. No one just lends out their car, Lamborghini or not. A best friend? They earned the right to drive the car. They prove they care about you, your belongings, your treasures. They will respect your car. They will treat it right, drive it responsibly, and return it in good condition. If they are a great friend, they might even take it through the wash on the way back and top off the gas tank! What a blessing! That is the only person you should let have access to your keys.

So that's my advice. Your heart is a Lamborghini. If it's been wrecked, banged up, don't despair. God is the great dealership that made it in the first place- the car isn't worthless. He can rebuild it, and maybe make it even stronger from the wrecks. It's His workmanship and He is capable of miracles with your heart. But don't just hand over the keys to the first person who notices the car. Wait and pray and see if they earn that right.

I think a huge issue these kids deal with - they want so badly to be loved, feel loved. A different kind of love than familial love, that very special kind. They don't understand how someone could just wreck their car. But that's life. Handing over the keys is their choice, and it's their job to safeguard that car and wait and see if the person is trusted. The right person will respect the value of the car, and invest the time to earn your trust. They will treat you right. They will never wreck your car from carelessness.

On a personal note............ people are people and free will is still an option. Sometimes you can know someone for several years, pray and pray and wait and find them faithful, and even feel convinced of God's will when you hand over the keys... and then they crash the car anyways, and you are left with the wreck. That kind of betrayal hurts deeply. Especially when they walk away from the wreck that they caused and don't look back. Don't care to help you fix it all up. That kind of abandonment cuts deeply.

But that doesn't change what God can do. He can still take those broken parts and craft the car back together. It's still a Lamborghini from His factory. It may hurt for a long time, and maybe it'll take forever for you to trust anyone with the keys again, but that's okay. Trust God. Love your family. And protect your Lamborghini. Take it for a cruise along the shore and just enjoy being the one with the keys for a while. Maybe someday, God will send you that best friend to ride along with you and share that drive.

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