It’s the Small Things

I was on my way to visit a church in NE Philadelphia, about a 40-minute drive from my home.  It was raining with a forecast of rain for the rest of the day.   

Now, I’m going to take a sidebar here to explain that the car I normally drive on visits like this is a little old, maybe a lot old…18 years old to be exact.  In order to dispel some of your negative mental images of my vehicle, it has been well taken care of; it has held it’s look well, it runs well, and only has 162,000 miles on it (less than 10,000 miles/year).  I’ve thought about replacing it several times, but keep coming back to the same question: Why?  I’m semi-retired, the car has long been paid for, and there’s nothing wrong with it unless you consider age a wrong. 

I had spoken to the pastor of the church I was planning to visit so I was expected.  On top of that, there were some matters we needed to discuss after morning worship.  As I got in, put the key in the ignition, looked up to see my wife drive off in her much newer car headed to our home church, turned my headlights on (it was a grey, rainy day), strapped into my seat belt, and turned my wipers on, I noticed a strip of rubber windshield wiper that had peeled off from the body of the wiper blade.  Mental note: I need to get these wiper blades replaced (something I’d said to myself for several months, just hadn’t yet done it.).

I pulled off with the wipers on and by the time I’d driven maybe 75 yards, both wiper blades were just about completely shredded.  Crap!!!  There was no way I could drive to Philly like this; I wouldn’t be able to make it out of our development before I would hear metal scraping against the glass windshield.  I parked the car and texted the pastor, explaining my predicament and apologizing amidst the need the need to reschedule the visit.  

I could’ve gone to an auto parts store to get refills and put them on, but that’s not neat work in the rain.  By the time I would have gotten to the church in Philly, morning worship would have been over. 

My plans were derailed by two small rubber strips, not a flat tire, not a mechanical problem.  My inattention to two of the smallest things on my car kept me from doing what I wanted and intended to do.  

Not paying attention to the details on seemingly small things disrupted a much bigger thing.  

Maybe there’s a life lesson here that has nothing to do with cars. 

© Byron L. Hannon, 2021.  All rights reserved to the text content unless otherwise noted.                      

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