#32 – Caught Off Guard


I have thought of Elaine and myself as being mid-range people in life, i.e. clothing, vehicles, restaurants, vacations and so forth. It’s been a purposeful principle of life.

However, this notion was just put to the test. We were considering replacing our 2014 Toyota RAV4 with one with a power liftgate because the present one is getting pretty heavy for Elaine.

I found one nearby that seemed to be everything we wanted. It was a 2018 AWD with only 13,000 miles. It had highway safety features that are fitting for an 80-year-old, and other options that we liked. It was the perfect shade of red and the price was a couple thousand less than I expected. But – -.

After driving it I noticed that the interior was plainer than our ’14. Plain black instead of black and grey, and lacking several things like textured door panels that would make it looker nicer. It was more like the base model.

Well, “no big deal” I thought – – except that suddenly it was a big deal and it caught me off-guard. The car was everything we wanted and if the interior had been like our ’14 I would have bought it on the spot.

My reaction contradicted who I thought myself to be, and I struggled to understand that as we talked on the way home. It moved me to search my heart about other areas where I might be deceiving myself. As Jer. 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

In Mt. 5:8 Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” I want to see God and be part of what He is doing in our chaotic Day, and that requires a pure heart. And I want to be “poor” (humble, devout) in spirit as in v3, which opens the Kingdom of God to me and is more fulfilling than any car interior could ever be.

God graciously offers us opportunities to repent and to turn our eyes and hearts toward Him, and I’m grateful for this one. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me – -.” (Psa. 139:23a) “What does this little drama tell me about me, and where else am I self-deceived?”

This is not about car interiors. It is about self-deception and about what need lies within me that a nice interior could fulfill but a plain one could not, and in what other ways is that expressed in my life.

Ken Stoltzfus, Kidron, OH – – FACEBOOK: Ken Stoltzfus – Kidron
Jan. 31, 2021

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  1. Amanda on January 31, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    I love your heart and honesty and I LOVE how God uses everything to teach us and reveal truths to us. If we ask He will answer. He wants to Guide us and keep us pure in heart, mind and spirit. Nothing is too small or mundane to be asked or a teachable heart moment with ABBA.

  2. Bulldog on February 3, 2021 at 6:13 am

    Ken, thanks for sharing. The point of this post is unmeasurable in many ways and the soul searching truth of one’s heart is quite revealing. Even then, when we do see an ugly spot, it’s still easy for us to still think quite highly of ourself.
    God’s grace is good and we all need that grace. Yes, we need Jesus and nothing else.

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