The other day my son, who has his learner’s permit and is still learning how to drive, accidentally backed into someone’s vehicle in the parking lot at his work.
Every day I have the routine task of jumping into the passenger seat of our 2009 VW Tiguan. My son jumps in the driver seat and off we go down the road about 3 miles to his scheduled shift at work. He pretty much has the basics down but has a few things to work on.
It was Veteran’s day, right when it starts to get dark, and my son pulls in and parks in front of the door at the sub shop. This time he parked a little too close to the vehicle beside him and I instructed him to adjust his position. He decided that instead of just adjusting his position, he would change the parking spot altogether and just back completely up to the parking spaces behind us. He started out great, but as he got closer to the spaces and looked at the lines in his mirrors, we suddenly heard a crunch.
I looked over my left shoulder to realize there was a car attached to our bumper. Immediately I lost my bearings and yelled for him to “Pull up! Pull up!” I was furious! We had just had a discussion about this earlier in the day. I ordered him to go inside and find out who owns the blue sporty souped-up car parked along the road. Our eyes locked onto a man who had just sat down to eat, still in his work clothes. When my son explained what had happened, needless to say, the man was not thrilled. He immediately got up and started walking towards the door. I then explained, “I’m so sorry, he is a new driver with his driver’s permit.” The man shot me a dirty look and walked out the door to his precious car. I followed him out there and we all looked at the damage. It was nothing more than some scuffs on the front corner panel. It could have been much worse. There was no damage to our vehicle at all. I instructed my son to take a picture of the damage and I got on the phone with my husband. The man got on his phone and continued to ignore us.
I wrote down all of our insurance information and license plate number, the things you normally do when you get into a minor accident. I instructed my son to hand it to him and retrieve his information to which the man replied that the state highway patrol was on the way and refused to give us anything. I again apologized, only to be met with a dirty look and more ignoring.
We waited about an hour for the State highway patrolman to arrive and, when he did, he took statements and insurance and printed out a report. Thank God my son was not ticketed as it was on private property and thank God we were legal and the kid is on our insurance. Once finished, the owner of the car took off like there was an emergency happening. I was bitter. I thought to myself, how can someone be so rude and uncivil like that? Here it is, Veteran’s Day. We have disabled veterans plates because my husband is a disabled vet. He had no idea whether we were the veteran or not. He had no sympathy for a child who is just learning how to drive and has just done the right thing by coming in to let him know, instead of just taking off as many people do. We took responsibility and made it right, yet none of that mattered to this man.
Once I got home, I was insulted and fuming at the way the car owner responded to us. If it had been me, I would have understood that accidents happen and it was no big deal. Nobody was hurt and there wasn’t any damage other than cosmetic to his car, which because we have such great insurance, will be covered in full. I looked at the police report for the man’s name and I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I Facebook stalked him. LOL! What I found was a man whose life seems to revolve around his love for his brand new car. The money he has put into it and all the pictures he has taken with his girlfriend leaning against it and him showing it off. This man was all about his car. Then the Holy Spirit convicted me. Idols! He idolizes his car. His car has become more important to him than compassion or human decency. I realized he is probably not saved. And of all the cars that my son could have backed into, it had to be a brand new whatcha gonna do souped-up sports car. It couldn’t have been an old pickup. Of course not!
Anything can be an idol. The Merriam-Webster definition of an idol is “An object of extreme devotion or: a representation or symbol of an object of worship.” Synonyms are an icon, god, image, likeness, fetish.
I got to thinking, this could not have been a coincidence. I think sometimes God allows things like this to happen to sometimes teach us and check our heart, but also because there are so many lost people in this world today who idolize everything but God. We need to pray for them and not respond to them the way the enemy would want us to. I may not have been able to witness to that man right then and there, but now he is on my radar. He is on God’s radar.
This man is lost and I believe God allowed the mild fender bender to happen for a reason. I got to thinking about anything in my life that I might idolize. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we have added idols to our life. I am guilty of binge-watching too much Netflix or putting too much emphasis on money.
Is there anything in your life that holds your attention more than God? How would you have handled this situation?
From now on, whenever that memory of my son backing into the man’s car comes to mind, I will be praying for him. I may never know if his heart has changed or if he has come to the Lord, but I can pray and I can remember that nothing should come before God. How we live our lives should reflect that. If there is ever a next time like this, I will remember and not be so bitter, but instead pray and make sure there are no idols in my own life.
Featured Image by Dhiva Krishna