The Parable of the Michelin Tires
|Note my tires in background.|
Last fall, I went to the Toyota dealership for an oil change (I had a coupon.) You know how it is when you go to the dealership, they always find about $1000 of things that "you absolutely need to fix about your car." So, I went in there vowing that I wouldn't allow them to fix anything.
As I suspected, after the oil change, the mechanic brought me a long list of things wrong with my car. Among these was that I needed new tires. "Yeah, right," I thought to myself. "My tires aren't that old."
Later, I reviewed the list with my husband. He helped me fix a few things, and then I went on my merry way, driving all over the place on my old tires. They felt just fine to me.
A few weeks later, my husband drove my van in the rain. He came home, telling me I needed new tires. I took his advice with a huge chunk of salt because he'd gotten brand new tires the year before. I told myself he was spoiled and couldn't remember what it was like to drive on normal tires!
A few days later, I drove in the van in the rain, and, for the first time, I saw that maybe the mechanic and my husband were right. My car slipped and slid a little as I changed lanes on wet pavement. But, I told myself that I didn't have time to go to the shop and get new tires. Besides that, I needed to wait for a good deal.
The first snowstorm came early this year. And I got a flat tire on the same day it snowed. I count this as a tender mercy from the Lord because who knows what would have happened if I drove on those old tires in the storm?
The next day, after the snow melted, I drove straight to Costco on my spare. I got all four tires replaced with brand new Michelins. As you may have guessed, when I drove away on the new tires, I felt like I had a whole new car. It was so much easier to drive. I hadn't realized how bad things had gotten.
A few weeks later, as I drove down the freeway during a terrible snowstorm, I felt so happy to have my new Michelins. They kept my family safe and calmed my nerves as we passed accident after accident. What had I been thinking to hold onto those old tires for so long?
Here's the moral of the story: Sometimes we don't realize how much we need to change. Even when a friend, family member, or church leader suggests a new course of action, we resist. We make excuses like "It's too much work," "That's just the way I am," or "I like things the way they are." We may deny the power of the atonement and think that we can never be forgiven--"It's too expensive. No one will pay for my sins."
It's only after we make the change that we see how much we've been missing. Good changes bring us joy, the joy we're meant to feel in this life.
I believe in Christ and in His power to help us change our lives for the better.