Galaxy Quest

GALAXYWhen I was in college, I bought my first car for $450. It was a 1969 Ford Galaxy that looked like it had been hand painted sky blue with a ½”-nap roller. It had a 390 engine. I know that because it said “390” on the side.

It was a generally reliable car, but occasionally one of the battery cables would work loose from the battery terminal just enough to disrupt the current. So, if I turned the ignition key and heard a “click” instead of the roar of 390 horses, I would pop the hood, wipe away the corrosion from the terminal, and refasten the loose cable.

One day I was driving the Galaxy into downtown Chicago with a friend of mine in the passenger seat. We were barreling down the Dan Ryan Expressway when, suddenly, the hood flew open. All I could see through the windshield was sky blue.

I turned to look at my friend, and his eyes were as big as saucers.

In that moment, I was driving blind. I could see absolutely nothing in front of me. In order to continue my journey, I had to do something about that sheet of metal that was obstructing my view.

Fearing for his life, my friend stretched his head out the passenger window to make sure it was clear for me to make my way over to the shoulder. I just turned the wheel to the right until the Galaxy was safely out of the flow of highway traffic.

Assessing the situation, I deduced that I hadn’t completely latched the hood after fiddling with that battery cable. I addressed the issue by forcing the bent hood back down, making sure that it was securely locked down. Then I resumed the journey with my nervous passenger.

My friend was so shaken by the experience that he got out of the car several blocks before we arrived at our destination and walked the rest of the way. When I finally caught up with him, he was purchasing a pack of cigarettes. I said, “I didn’t even know you smoked.” He replied, “I do now!”

To be honest, I just wanted to tell that story. But here’s a take-away message. In life, sometimes we just won’t be able to see the road in front of us, and we’ll have to pull over in order to address whatever is obstructing our vision before we can resume our journey.

Have you ever felt like you were driving blind?

7 thoughts on “Galaxy Quest

  1. My heart thudded when I read that your hood went up—on the freeway, no less! 🙂 Yes, I’ve had times in life when I’m driving blind, or walking through it blind. I put one foot in front of the, hoping, praying I don’t fall into a hole or trip over something I couldn’t see.

    And as you insightfully shared, sometimes I’m blind because the perspective through which I view a situation is inaccurate, so it obstructs a true understanding of the circumstances. As I’m thinking through this, I see many analogies to my writing life too. Hmmmm.

    Thanks for the fun story and great application!

    • Jeanne, you have a real knack for fleshing out and filling out the posts I write. Your thoughtful applications are always helpful to me in processing truth. I am pulled over on the shoulder right now, trying to identify what the popped hood represents in terms of a truth-obstructing obstacle to my spiritual vision. Thank you for your transparency and your insights.

  2. Okay, I gotta admit that I thought you were gonna go with the “Galaxy Quest” movie. But then you pulled me in with the whole “my hood flew up” scenario — one of my worst nightmares actually happened to you! And you (not surprisingly) instilled both humor and a takeaway message. A whole modern day, Dave Hamlin take on the “Log in your own eye” parable. Love it.

    • The Galaxy Quest movie title was indeed the inspiration for the title of this post, but I steered the topic in a different direction. Thank you so much for your positive response to the story and the application. You know, I love the story (because it ended well!) and I might have thought I was pretty clever with my take-away application. But by reading the responses and meditating longer on the truth of the image, I sense that God is saying to me, “There’s something blocking your view..” Logs, smoke, popped hoods–it seems there’s always something in the way, some kind of obstruction that I need to clear from my view in order to see things as God does.

  3. Whoa – that was a scary event! In a sense, we all are traveling blind because (to paraphrase Max Lucado) only God has the jigsaw puzzle boxtop to life – the rest of us just have to deal with the pieces we can see and trust (have faith) that God’s vision will serve us well.

    Normally I would not self-promote in another’s forum, so please forgive this deviation from blog etiquette: but because so much of your mission revolves around appreciating what God has done for us, I think you might like my most recent blog post: “Calling All Spouses – The 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.” http://shelharrington.com/calling-all-spouses-the-30-day-gratitude-challenge/

    • Hi, Shel! Yes, in one sense we never really see what’s in front of us. Our confidence is that God knows. (I would like to get a peek at that box top) Thank you for that insight.
      I could ALWAYS use some more focus on gratitude, so I will happily–and thankfully–check out your post. Thanks for the tip.

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