on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Lessons from my Car

Sometimes life lessons come from unexpected places.  Take my 1996 Volvo, please.

My fourteen year old car started teaching me life lessons when it was about ten.  Or maybe that was when I started paying attention to the lessons.

When things stopped working in my car, I found myself asking, “Is it worth fixing?” AND “What can I learn from this?”

Here is the short list of the top ten things that have stopped working on my car and what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Half of the dashboard lights are out.  Look up, there is a light there when you need it.
  2. The odometer stopped.  If you get where you are going, it doesn’t matter how far it is.
  3. The radio quit. Silence is a gift.
  4. The air-conditioning is hot on the driver’s side.  Share the cooler vents with your passenger.
  5. The driver’s door hinge sounds like a gunshot when you open/close the door.  Humility comes in handy when heads turn in the parking lot.
  6. The speedometer died.  I found a free digital speedometer app on my Smartphone that works great, and I felt creative.
  7. The moonroof leaks. I think about people who have roofs at home that leak, or those who have no roof.
  8. Cruise control doesn’t cruise–Pay attention to how fast everyone else is going and just go a little slower.
  9. Anti-lock brakes quit, but the regular brakes work–If you’re not in a hurry, you don’t have to stop as fast.
  10. Left front bumper has a wrinkle–just like many parts of my body that I’m learning to accept.

So when things stop working in your life, is it worth fixing?  What are you learning?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


  1. Robert Clough

    I was laid off last December. This past year has been full of many lessons, but the overall thing I’m trying to learn is that no matter how much we plan, how high we go up the corporate ladder, how nice we make our home, life can change in one sitting with the HR Director telling you that you’ve been laid off and all those plans you made are useless. So the lesson is to plan ahead and also be prepared to change and adjust those plans as life doesn’t always workout the way we planned it. But trust in God that he has a bigger plan for you and be patient until it is revealed to you- patience trust me is the hard part.

  2. Malcolm

    Robert, the lessons from my car are trivial compared to what you shared. You are so right, everything can change in an instant. One conversation, one moment. Your truth to “plan ahead and also be prepared to change and adjust those plans as life doesn’t always work out the way we planned it” is right on target.

    Thanks for writing and sharing your story. It means a lot.


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