My car was making a weird noise and it’s less than two years old, so I brought it to the dealership. I planned on waiting the one hour for them to diagnose the problem, figuring I’d have to make another appointment for them to fix whatever is wrong. Jack and I entertained ourselves by sitting in every car in the showroom, watching every show on my iPad, and eating every snack I brought all within the first 20 minutes. Now what?
After one hour 15 minutes, they still couldn’t figure out what was wrong so they put me in a loaner car. Now you need to know: 1) I drive an SUV. 2) they only had a sedan available. Ok that’s fine, it might not fit my stroller but I’ll survive. But my car guy was nice “I have kids. I know what it’s like. I’ll get your stroller to fit.”
By the time I signed the papers and got out there, Nice Car Guy had moved my stroller into the loaner AND was securing the car seat for me! How wonderful!
The next day my car was “fixed” (the “quotes” are some foreshadowing for you), I returned the loaner, hoped Nice Car Guy would move the car seat for me again but he wasn’t there. I struggled to move it while keeping Jack from being run over, or running away.
One week later: noise returns. I schedule an appointment to bring my car in and immediately
get a loaner (since we’ve already sat in ever car on the showroom floor).
The loaner they gave me was pretty much a shoe box with wheels. We might as well have just put an engine on Jack’s little pull wagon. I joke, but I’m kind of serious. Kid stuff takes up space. Just fitting the car seat in the
shoe box loaner was challenging.
In addition to its small size, the Shoe Box with Wheels didn’t even have bluetooth. How am I supposed to listen to music? Especially since my main radio station was doing their annual fundraiser. Also, this car did NOT fit my stroller – no way around it – and we had plans to go to the zoo. After some complicated conversations with friends, I discovered a friend who had an extra stroller IN her car – imagine a double stroller and single stroller in your car at the same time, and I couldn’t even fit one stroller in this car. Oh, and Jeff didn’t really fit in the car. He had to sit in the backseat.
I drove the Shoe Box for almost a week and I complained about it for almost a week. It was a brand new car. It was safe, reliable, and got us where we needed to go. Oh, and it was free. Totally free. And I complained about it for a week.
The last day we had the Shoe Box, Jack and I went to my cousin’s house and I was going to pick up McDonalds on the way. Jack was whining in the backseat about something or nothing, and my whining and complaining about the car was starting to sink in.
Jack, you are going to stop whining, and Mommy is going to stop whining.
And then I looked up and saw McDonalds was actually on the left and I was in the right turn lane. So much for McDonalds. I guess we’ll get a Lunchable at the gas station (don’t judge my parenting eating choices, this post is about complaining.)
“Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Do you know who said that? Do you hear this quote much? If we were friends in high school, you might recall that it was our theme verse for every youth group trip. It’s in the Bible. Philippians 2:14.
We are commanded not to complain. Which means that complaining is a sin. I knew all this even as the words were coming out of my mouth complaining about the Shoe Box, I mean Loaner Car. But we live in a culture of entitlement – I’m entitled to a loaner car equivalent to my real car. And when we don’t get it, we complain. My complaining was usually kind of funny. You probably laughed reading this post because you can sympathize. But it’s still sin. Sometimes sin is funny – to us. It’s never funny to God.
Philippians 2 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. It admonishes us to encourage, comfort and love each other. Don’t be selfish, be humble, and think of others as better than yourself. Have the same attitude as Christ – though He was GOD, He humbled Himself to death on a cross. Don’t complain, don’t argue. Be blameless and pure. Shine your light. Hold firmly to the Word of God.
Next time you hear me complain, call me out. I don’t want to get sucked in to living like this world. I want to live like Jesus. I want my joy for Christ to shine, even in a Shoe Box With Wheels.