The Car Search continued …

When I was a young girl, my mother and I were invited to go on a road trip to California – from Indiana! My mother was as excited as I was, but uncertain because of her prevailing commitments. “Wait for God’s green light,” our wise, would-be benefactress told her. In a religious culture where everything was rules and laws, and depended on the heavy-hitting“God’s will,” this statement melted into my heart like syrup on a Saturday morning pancake. Despite the fact that the God’s light didn’t turn green in this case (and my road trip to California was delayed until I was a sophomore in college), I’ve never forgotten those words.  

For me the phrase was a precursor to what would eventually become my own way of life…not looking outwardly, but inwardly for the green light in all things—including cars. When Karren Louise and I arrived in South Keihi, “GO” sat in front of the designated house. She was a deep-sea-with-a-shot-of-teal GREEN. Her top was sun-damaged on one side and she had a small front-flank dent made by a falling three-pound avocado. She’d also been in a fender bender and despite the repair, hadn’t completely gotten herself back together again. But oh, had she been loved by her one and only owner! The engine was clean and the soft-gray interior had been beautifully maintained and recently detailed. Out on the road with her newer tires, she shifted with ease, had perky pick-up and boasted 33 mpg. Even her registration and safety check had just been done and were good for a year!

After making arrangements with the owner to take her to our mechanic, we got back into our borrowed vehicle and burst into big, gaudy grins. “We got our car!” we kept saying to each other. “GO” was definitely our girl. Over celebratory drinks at Starbucks, we decided to rename her “GO GIRL” or “GG” for short. Now here’s the thing about God’s green light. It does mean “GO” but it doesn’t guarantee what’s around the next bend. A couple of days later, we were dismayed to learn that despite her overall health, our baby girl had some problems. One would cost some money to fix and the other required us to make our own test drive with the mechanic’s instructions. The results of that drive could mean “no GO.”

I recognized this moment…when guidance that was bright green turns to yellow and the only instructions left in the book are: 1) take the next step and 2) be willing to let go. I can’t say I’ve learned to love this moment yet, but I have learned to trust it.
Karren Louise and I visited the DMV last Friday and “GO GIRL” took us there. It all worked out. She passed the driving test, the owner paid for the other repair, and a set of nearly-new Hawaiian seat covers were thrown into the deal. My housemate and I are thrilled to have our own cute and curvy GXE with a turtle decal on the back. But even more, I’m grateful for the continuing grace of Spirit’s guiding light on the road trip of life.

A Hui Hou,