On my last day before I left for Parish Pulpit Fellowship (read this post of what that means), I sold my car. I was sad. You were my first car—white Scion tC 2006.
I bought you used nearly 5 years ago, and I drove 54,570 miles with you. A great many good and wonderful memories were made during those miles.
I bought the car mainly for ministry; when I was a youth pastor at Naperville Korean First Presbyterian Church. All those early Sunday mornings to set up the youth room, and all those late nights after some fellowship, church function, or meeting. The many times I drove Wheaton students, some of whom became youth leaders and my most trusted friends. The other times I stuffed five to seven youth kids to go to McDonalds. Thinking about it now, I’m surprised the suspension didn’t give way. And the two years I had you in Chicagoland, I never slid out of control on snow or ice. You were such a faithful ministry partner.
You also survived the cross-country move from Chicago to Los Angeles. Never once were you broken into (perhaps because the sides of the body were already beaten up). Even when filled to the brim with stuff—mainly, books—you comfortably handled 90-95 mph. It was even more fun driving when it was just me. You were zippy, and I loved driving you.
All the singing and dancing sessions in the car. Blasting the music so loud that the side mirrors were vibrating. Often I would belt alone, then glance that the car next to me was entertained by my overly passionate singing. Sometimes, waiting in front of a long freight train in Chicagoland, I would open the doors and dance right outside the car with friends.
You took me to see mom every week during her last two years. It would be a long hour commute. Thank God your audio system never failed—podcasts, audiobooks, K-pop. And you safely drove me to see mom after her last hour. I cried a lot in the car, too. Lots of tears I never showed others.
I met a lot of new friends and reconnected with old ones because of you. People I thought I would not get along with and people I dearly missed. I’ve had deep, meaningful conversations and awkward small-talks. Hilarious stories I can’t remember now but can still hear the laughter. I’ve ministered people and been ministered to.
I think what I’ll miss most is that when I was alone in the car, I was truly by myself. I would have the most bitter complaints and throat-thinning worries spilled. I would laugh at myself and embarrassed of what I remembered I did. I had revelations and solemn moments of prayer. This kind of space that allows such things does not come easy. Often, that kind of space has to be cultivated, and you made it easy.
Goodbye, faithful friend. Though I wish your resale value was a bit higher, you’ll always be my first car.
Z.I.P. (zip in peace).