I’ve got a truck shrine.
It’s a long story.
So I got this truck when I was 16, brand new. I didn’t really…want it exactly, but I got it. My entire philosophy in high school was don’t be noticed. “As long as nobody sees me or pays attention to what I’m wearing I’ll be okay”. I mean, I cared about what I wore. I just wanted it to help me blend in. A new white low-rider wasn’t how you blend in.
But I rolled with it. I loved it.
They only made about 20,000 of these every year, and if you divide up the colors (Summit White, Victory Red, Indigo Blue, and Onyx Black), the cabin styles (Regular, Extended Cab), the bed styles (Fleet Side or Step Side), the power train combination (Inline-4 or V-6), it means that there were very few trucks exactly like mine.
I had a Summit White, Extended Cab, Sports Side, with the V6 and 4L60E automatic transmission. I’ve never seen one of these ever again. Most Xtremes had the Inline-4 with the manual transmission, the Regular Cab, and the Fleet Side bed. Most of them today are in sad condition. Mine was not. So, yes, it was fun “being special”.
Yes, it was a car, or truck, or automobile. It’s a physical object. It’s an appliance. It’s a tool.
It’s also where I had a lot of memories.
Driving to church. Driving to youth group. Driving to Bible study. Driving just to drive. Driving that girlfriend. Washing it. The first accident. The first dent. The first scratch. Going to Prom. Going to Homecoming. Breaking up with this girlfriend. Driving that other girlfriend. Breaking up with that other girlfriend. Going to college. Loading my dorm into the truck bed. Driving to CFW. Driving to SLT. Driving back from SLT with Josh Matz and going over Ecclesiastes line by line. Exploring. Having many retreat days and quiet times talking with God in the middle of some country road. The epic road trip in 2007 where I took it thousands and thousands of miles to find the middle of nowhere.
Since I really learned to drive in it, it was also the baseline of what I expected an automobile to be. It handled great. It drove hard but it drove fun. It gripped the road. It was fun. It was full of torque. Did I say it was fun? It was good enough to get me out of a lot of dumb spots. I never had to second guess taking a corner or a turn. It did exactly what I thought it was going to do, every time.
I grew up in that thing. But moth and rust do destroy. It also wasn’t going to be the most practical vehicle moving forward. It was parked outside for years – not that I wanted to do that, but had to. It was washed often but it was still driven during the winter in Illinois. Though it was the best equipped and best trimmed and best looking S-10 truck, it still rusted in the same places S-10 trucks always rust.
I knew it would either take work and money (and continue taking work and money) to keep it going, or I needed to sell it, get something newer and get something more practical. I didn’t like it. But I did it. It was sold.
But after all, it was just a tool, but I did enjoy it very much. And I still think it was a really, really beautiful automobile. I think it’s the most beautiful automobile ever, though I’m biased. Beauty is beauty.
So when I sold it, I made a tribute. It was something funny I thought of and decided to do it. I always have ideas like this, but often I don’t do them. But this time I did. I know material things come and go just like seasons of life. I thought it would be fun to celebrate this thing I had and the joy it gave me. I do think it’s funny and silly and it’s a little tongue-in-cheek. I’m sure I’ll make a tribute to my laptop when the time comes.
But the truck is also about all the things that happened in my life while I had it. The truck was beautiful but now it represents many beautiful experiences. Like a rock of Ebeneezer. It’s a reminder of how God was mighty.
But moth and rust do destroy.
It’s just a tool. But sometimes even tools can be beautiful things.