Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Nathaniel0
Ever felt like a hooptie? (“Hooptie” (n)- broken-down car, if you don’t have time to Urban Dictionary it)
She was a ’91 purple Toyota Previa, maroon actually. I could stop there, but there’s more… She was a handed down “hand-me-down.” By the time I got this disposal of a vehicle from my brother David (who got it from my mom), only one of her three doors worked, she had no sound system, a taped back light, four missing hubcaps, no air condition, only one window rolled down and yes, seatbelts were missing. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for the thought, but I was thinking of something less “death-trappy” for my first car. My mom, ironically an ICU nurse, thought otherwise.
My first accident with Betty (the only name fitting for this car… no offense to any Betty’s out there) happened before I even had my driver’s license. There was a wall. I crashed into it. Nuff said. After getting my car semi-repaired, I got into another accident… with my garage. After that? It was all downhill; no more accidents, but she literally became my garbage can. Remnants of my nutritional Breakfast Jacks, Egg McMuffins and cartons of ice-cream from my job at Coldstone stayed piled there for weeks. Not to mention the boxes of Nikes and littered homework pages that became the norm for Betty’s interior.
After months of pleading, two saved up birthdays and a much-improved GPA, I succeeded in convincing my mom to christen me with an ’01 Chevy Silverado, long-bed, with an extended cab (it lasted about a year and a half… long story).
If you’re like me, sometimes you feel like Betty (not everyone’s favorite Golden Girl, but my first car). Whether it’s because of convictions, shame, guilt, or things other people have said, we break ourselves or allow ourselves to be broken. And that breakage leads to a point where we feel beyond repair, just like a hooptie. After that, we throw ourselves further into the pit of brokenness. Examples: “I already had that cupcake; I might as well have the pie.” “She broke up with me; I guess I’m not wanted.” “I’ve already looked at porn once today; I might as well subscribe.” “I’ve already lost my virginity, so I might as well let my ‘freak-flag fly.” Sound familiar? That feeling of being in a state that’s “beyond repair”? It only pushes us into “hooptie-village.”
I’d love to sit back and tell you that the answer is simple. I’d love to give you the clichéd “Turn to Jesus” and He’ll set you free rhetoric. While true, there’s a greater part of the process that involves changing false self-perceptions and understanding the emotional responses and deficiencies behind our brokenness. And since I’m in the process myself, all I can say is that “It sucks dealing with ish.” It sucks having to face the reality of whom we might become if we choose to look at ourselves as damaged goods. But it’s better than the alternative of damaging ourselves because we think we’re already damaged, right?
I think about it and regardless of how long it takes, I know you and I can be made whole when we surrender our “ish” to Big Pops and take the steps of learning to see ourselves as He does. First step? Ask yourself where you need to be repaired.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” 1 John 1:8