Lessons From The Broken Down Car


Driving across the busy Los Angeles freeway, I had a sort of epiphany the other day. As I was rolling along just fine, I passed a broken-down car, the broken-down kind with a little smoke coming out of the hood and the driver sitting on the hillside with his chin in his hand. Clearly, this wasn’t the way he intended to spend his day…On the side of the bustling 405 with a smoking car.

It wasn’t until later on that I started to think about him and sorta-kinda wondered if his day got any better. I’ll never know. But what I did think about was this: chances are he had a cell phone and I’m 99.99% sure he called for help. Whether it was AAA, a tow truck, his girlfriend, his dad, whoever. I’d bet money he called someone and said something to the likes of, “I’m broken down, can you come help me?”

That’s what we all learn in Driving School 101 and now with the prevalence of cell phones, we should never be stranded for longer than half an hour, tops.

It got me thinking… how come we aren’t so quick to ask for help when we feel broken down in our own lives? Not that we crash and burn with a smoking engine on the side of the road, but sometimes our lives are eerily similar to that damaged car. For whatever reason, we sit on the hillside upset, pouting, hurt, frustrated, and dejected but we fail to call for help! Somewhere in Living School 101, we missed the instructions to call out in times of need. Instead of seeking the help we need, we wallow in our brokenness, often complaining and blaming.

Why do we do that, especially as adults (children are better at hollering for help)?

If the guy with the broken car would have failed to call for help, he may still be sitting there on the side of the 405. We’d say, “That’s just ludicrous! He’s a fool for not calling on someone.”

But we do the SAME THING ALL THE TIME. You know what I’m talking about. It’s our pride, our ego, our selfish ambition to live independent of others, that keeps us stranded on the hillside of despair.

I’m looking in the mirror here when I say that we need to treat the broken issues in our lives like we would a smoking car. Call upon God, call upon your faith, call upon your family, friends, teachers, coaches, and influencers to help you get out of whatever predicament you find yourself in. There’s a reason we need to call someone for help.

We can’t rescue ourselves.

Let’s all be smarter in the way we live our lives. I’m sure the frustration passes much quicker when we lay down our pride and take on the notion that we were never meant to live alone.


** In the whirlwind of moving, I missed the Monday Story post – look for it this coming Monday! 


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