Slip Slidin Away

In 1982, Chevrolet introduced the new design of their popular sports car, the Camaro. It was sleek and speedy and since I, in my mid-twenties, was at a sleek and speedy phase of life, I knew that I had to have one. My dad, living in Brattleboro, Vermont, knew a man who owned a Chevy dealership further north in St. Johnsbury and according to the local buzz,  he had a real beauty sitting in his lot. Charcoal metallic in color, gold rims, and a tinted T-roof made this brand new Camaro Berlinetta seem like something right out of a Hollywood movie. I drove it home a few hours later on the edge of disbelief that this vehicle was my own. Flying down I -91 south,  I turned up the eight speaker stereo system and cruised along, the speedometer hovering just over the posted limit. I was in Chevy heaven.  

Once back home in Massachusetts, I drove that Camaro everywhere. I picked up friends and took them to the cinema or the mall. We cruised the ‘strip’ along Nantasket Beach on Saturday nights and showed up late for church on Sundays, making sure to pull in the parking lot with windows open and the radio up loud. The car made a statement and sitting behind the wheel was one of the most incredible feelings I had ever experienced.  That is, until winter came.

During the cold weather months, New England roadways can become quite challenging. Hardy souls who live in the region know all about snow tires, chains and four wheel drive. A T-roof is of little use when the snow begins to fly. It was apparent that the “even weight distribution” on my sports car made gripping icy pavement a “free for all.” Front tires? Rear? Traction was anybody’s guess.  Stop signs were mere suggestions as the Chevrolet Limited Edition reached the unwavering limitations of science and stayed in motion despite my valiant effort to apply the brakes.

My neighbor Don, was an oft-utilized partner for pushing. He would get low on the bumper of the Camaro while I spun the tires on the graded hill that led to my driveway. It became customary that whenever he would hear my tires singing in the snow as I was attempting to navigate the automobile toward a parking spot, out the door he would come, throwing on his coat and pulling on his galoshes. “Not again!” he would exclaim.“We ought to put a glass case around this vehicle. It’s beautiful to look at, but it’s useless in foul weather.”

Many of us are overly concerned with appearances. Not unlike my shiny sports car, we look as though we are cruising along life’s road in style. But our trials come like winter storms and if we don’t have the right equipment - we will surely slip. A friendly neighbor may offer help when we get stuck, but without a true changeover to a proper mode of transportation, we are doomed to slide off the path again and again. Change your wheels for something more practical.  Now, the pace at which the Lord moves is sometimes maddeningly slow, but it is also steady and sure. He isn’t one for flash and flare, but He will never wind up in a ditch, nor will He  slide helplessly past a warning sign. With His Spirit as the guide for life the road becomes manageable no matter what conditions you may have to weather. Your new vehicle will come equipped with GPS (God’s Plan of Salvation) which will always get you safely home.