Lucas Electric and the Garden of Gethsemane

This past weekend, I took my three and a half year old daughter to the Kiwanis Club Catch a Wave Car Show in Tempe (great show btw; I highly recommend it). The weather was perfect, the cars were all perfectly lined up and polished, and there was a faint scent of gasoline in the air – everything was perfect. This isn’t the first, and certainly not the last, car show that we have gone to together, and every time we go to a car show my daughter has a list of certain expectations: there will be cars, hopefully convertibles; we will eat food at the show, usually something we don’t normally eat, and she will walk me through the cars pointing out all the ones that she wants me to buy her when she’s old enough to drive. Everyone thinks this is cute and makes fun comments like, “she has good taste” and “uh-oh, you’re in trouble.” What most people don’t know is the plan. I hope that when she turns thirteen we will pick out a classic car together and spend the next three years rebuilding it, finishing just in time to get her license. The problem is that almost every car she likes, up to this point anyway, has a Lucas electrical system.

In case you don’t know, Lucas was the company that manufactures most of the electrical systems and components for British cars in the 60’s and 70's– which is what she seems fond of. Lucas electrical systems have a notorious reputation for being awful; they seem to always need tinkering, adjusting, fixing, and replacing. So every time she stands next to an Austin Healey or an MG and tells me that’s what she wants when she turns thirteen I panic a little on the inside. On the outside I smile and tell her we’ll see what she likes when she grows up, but on the inside part of me wants to talk her out of it just to avoid the inevitable hassle of a Lucas electrical system.

If her taste in cars does not change in the next ten years, there will come a day when we will have to have a serious talk about the reliability of some of these cars with Lucas components, and I hope that it is similar to Jesus’ conversation with God in Luke 22. If you remember, this is the part of the story where Jesus begs God not to die on the cross. With sweat like blood and earnest prayers, three times Jesus asks for the burden of death to be lifted from his shoulders. He doesn’t want to die a horrific death, no one can blame him for that. You wouldn’t want to either. But what makes this story so unique is after Jesus begs and pleads three times to not have to die, he ultimately has the wisdom to trust that his Father knows what is best, even if he disagrees or doesn’t understand. So with words that are now famous Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

Don’t misread me: I’m not trying to compare myself to God. However, I do hope that by the time my daughter is thirteen she will trust me when I tell her she may not want a car with a Lucas electrical system, and will allow my counsel to sway her pick of car. I hope that she will trust my advice like Jesus trusted his Father. Because, as it turns out (SPOILERS), parents usually do want what is best for their kids. In the same way, God always wants what is best for you, even when you disagree on what is best. You may not want a car with a Lucas system, but when the day comes that you think you know best what you need and want, I pray that you may have the wisdom to trust God when you disagree on what is best for your life.

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