I was in my third year of college when I said: "Dad, I want a car."
Dad responded: "Son, when you have the money we will go look."
My job was in a grocery store. The dream of having a car compelled me to work while keeping my grades up. Finally, the cash was available.
"I have a car I want you to see," Dad told me. "It is a Studebaker."
My mind was stunned. I visualized the 1948 Studebaker that we would say you could not tell if it was going forwards or backward. Panic. Imagine picking up your girlfriend in this.
Dad countered by saying: "Son, just go with me and let's look."
We drove into the parking lot and a 1959 Silverhawk, shiny black, red
leather seats with red carpet and red interior, 8 cylinder with high-performance engine stole my heart. Dad cautioned me to not let my interest be known. He negotiated. We drove away in my dream car.
Oh, it was a sweet car. I loved that car. 4,000+ pounds of steel with an engine that you could hear RPMs increase with cool air at night. Smooth. Laila and I courted in that car and it took us on our honeymoon.
Time passed. Two children. I put it up on blocks in a barn intending to keep it for my grandchildren to see, sit in and have as a family heirloom. It was not practical for a family.
Occasionally, I would go visit Betsy Sue, admire her, start the engine and listen to her purr. One day when I turned the key there was a hard knock like metal against metal. The engine was locked up. A cylinder had stuck. I walked away saddened and frustrated.
A mechanic shared with me that taking out spark plugs and putting special oil in each cylinder might loosen the engine. I did what he said. Let it set for days and weeks. Tried to start it several times. Same horrible and sad sound out of Betsy Sue.
I was in school. Finances were tight. I needed money. We decided to sell Betsy Sue. Did not have the money to restore and rebuild the engine. We had towed it to a parishioner's house near Interstate road. A man from Pennsylvania came by, looked, and paid. I told him how I had put
oil in each cylinder but the motor was apparently bad. I wanted to be truthful.
He came back with a roll-back truck. Got out. Got in Betsy Sue to release gears and brakes to load by having a steel cable pull the car up the ramp. On a whim, he turned the ignition key. The engine roared into life with all its original power and sweetness. He drove around some before driving up on the ramp and taking Betsy Sue to her new home in Pennsylvania.
I am so glad I was not there for the moment. I miss Betsy Sue. Laila misses Betsy Sue. She has even said: "Maybe one day we can buy another car like Betsy Sue." A few times I have gone to websites and looked at images of cars like Betsy Sue. Memories. Sweet memories.
Hope you are not bored with my story. It actually has a spiritual application. Dad said "Studebaker", and I panicked - thinking of that '48. He had in mind something so much better.
I sold Betsy Sue because a cylinder was stuck. She just needed time for the oil to saturate. Time.
How often I have thought about God calling us to a higher place. We panic. We imagine the worst. He imagines the best. We think the cylinder is stuck and the engine is lost. God says: "You need
time for the Holy Spirit oil to soak into your soul until the sweetness of Jesus returns with your First Love."
Hopefully, you will find time to sit and soak in His love.