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Bostic: Too many blessings make us complacent

Bostic: Too many blessings make us complacent

Author: Action News 17/Thursday, June 6, 2019/Categories: Front Page, Voices

A View from my Front Porch
By: Louise Bostic

My little green truck recorded over 330,000 miles. Everything worked well on the twenty-five year old Toyota with air conditioning, radio, tape deck, and a complete light package with no malfunctions. When I turned the key in the ignition there was no grinding, just an immediate start in any season. The seats, though worn and a little stained, fit me perfectly whether I was driving across town or across the country. When I sat in the driver’s seat, the smell of tools and yesterday’s work was stimulating and made me ready to meet the challenges of the day.

With all its scratches, dings, and dents the little truck was part of me and helped identify who I was. I smiled when my elven year old granddaughter refused to ride in it because it was “kind of yucky” and she might get dirty. I loved my old truck like an old faithful friend and even joked with the many who asked if I would sell it that I intended to be buried in it.

This 1994 Toyota transported me safely the 600 miles each way six times a year to check on my aging mother for more than 15 years. On one of my out of state trips I was hit by logging truck on interstate 49 north of Alexandria. My truck was sent down a 30 foot slope. The eighteen wheeler overturned, scattering huge logs across the highway and blocking interstate traffic for hours. Some straightening of the left fender and front bumper on the truck and it was back to normal in only a few days.

Another time I was suddenly blinded by headlights of two cars stopped opposite to the direction of traffic at the roadside late one night. I ran over a carcass on the highway between the two vehicles and the legs of the animal damaged my alternator. I had no control of the truck as it raced down the highway with the cruise control stuck in its engaged speed. Finally overheating, the engine stopped and I coasted to the shoulder. The next day I was still badly shaken but the truck only needed minor attention and I drove it safely the 600 miles back to Louisiana.

When the truck was stolen, I felt violated. The thief was apprehended less than 8 hours after I reported the crime. The psychopath attempted to destroy it in the short time he had it, including driving it through a wall. I lost the side mirrors and the truck, normally pristine, was filthy but needed very little maintenance other than cleaning after I drove it home.

I took my mechanical friend for granted, neglected to clean it or routinely check under the hood. One day the old head gasket cracked and probably the block as well for lack of oil. A few seconds or five minutes of maintenance and I might still have the vehicle I had come to depend upon. Instead it belongs to a friend now to use for “parts”.

I miss my old truck although the new one I bought is actually better than my old one with many bells and whistles specified by the previous owner. For the first year I kept the new one fairly clean and was conscious of under the hood maintenance. Now I find myself slowly slipping in to my old habits and my beautiful new truck may be already suffering the consequence of my complacency. Stewardship in good times might avoid most of our crises altogether.

Ideals and resolutions seem to belong to times of emergency. If we could budget our money at the first of the month as we are forced to do at the end of our pay period we might avoid many of our financial crises. If we could eat healthy all the time rather than when we are sick or when we imagine symptoms of diet abuse we might live longer and stronger. Time, money, diet are a few of the critical issues we could control if only we did not take advantage of our God given health and prosperity. Not to condone unnecessary worrying, but a little more pessimism or caution might make our lives better in the long haul and perhaps preserve treasures such as my old 1994 mechanical friend.

Just saying.
 
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