Spiritual Life

An old farm truck provides metaphor of God’s companionship in life

Down at our farm, there’s a beat up old granddad of a truck with sunken seats, crackly speakers, and an old CB radio that doesn’t work anymore. The suspension on this thing turns every drive into town into a carnival ride. The paint on the cab doesn’t match the paint on the back. It makes dying-rabbit noises. It’s kind of a disaster.

But the most annoying thing about this truck is the headliner fabric on the ceiling above the driver’s seat. It hangs down like an old dog’s belly, just low enough to bop the top of your head whenever you go over a bump. Bop ... bop ... bop.

Admittedly, it’s totally possible to reattach the drooping fabric, but no one’s ever taken the time to do it. So whenever I hop into this truck to run an errand, I either have to slump down in the seat a bit or put up with the gentle head-bopping. Alternatively, I can sit up as tall as I can — really lean into it — and drive around with the top of my head buried in dissolving nylon. I’m trying to make a good impression on my neighbors, but they all must think I’m nuts.

I’m getting a little tired of the sagging headliner, but it does have the redeeming quality of being a good metaphor for God (though I might be the only one who thinks so).

God is our companion on this road of life — just like that old truck with its sagging roof.

He is always near to us. Hovering, like the Spirit over the waters of Creation. There are times in life when we are hyper-aware of his presence, and it can feel a bit awkward, actually, maybe even a little bothersome, especially if God is urging us in a direction we don’t want to go.

And eventually, we might just get so used to sitting in a crouch that we forget all about him. But every once in a while — especially when the road gets bumpy — he gives us a gentle bop on the head.

“Hello,” he says. “I’m still here.”

So we can go ahead and slouch down nice and low to avoid God, but at the end of the day, he’ll still be there and all we’ll have for our troubles is a crick in our necks. Or we can stand tall and lean into him.

But here’s the good news: Whether we run from him or to him, God isn’t going anywhere. His love will always be hovering over us, right where it’s been from the start.

What has been your spiritual posture these days as you truck along in life? Are you in a crouch? Are you sitting tall? Are you just bouncing along?

Hear this, my friends: Wherever you are, God is. And you always have an advocate, a listening ear, a guide, and a friend with you. My prayer for all of us this month is that, wherever we are on the road of life, we be reminded of just how close God is.

Bop ... bop ... bop.

Rev. Liv Gibbons is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email lluginbill@tricityherald.com.