What kind of car is your current dream car? When I was younger I wanted one of those strange ones that had a pickup bed attached to a car-looking front rather than a truck cab. Then I wanted a CRV, at least until the nation was innundated with SUV’s and gas became expensive and “bad.” I probably switched to liking the Prius best about a decade ago, but I didn’t really give it a lot of thought since I was living overseas. Last fall I started wondering whether I could save up to buy a used one on my return to the US (answer: nope, not yet!), and this summer I rented one for a weekend trip. I wasn’t overwhelmed with its actual pick-up-and-go power, it felt like the car was working kind of hard at times, but in general I enjoyed it quite a lot, especially the expensive console it had which I would probably not pay for in a car I bought (GPS, bluetooth for my iPhone’s audiobooks and to accept calls hands-free, etc). And of course when I went to fill it up and found how little gas it took to fill a tank that had lasted for so many hundreds of miles, I was quite happy. I’ve been noticing them everywhere on the road these days – for example, I counted 6 of them in 2 miles one day during rush hour, and when I pulled out onto the main road to begin the trip in my rented Prius, I waited behind a pair of them at the traffic light!
But I got to thinking as I drove: Why am I giving so much of my attention to a “thing,” something that isn’t really important for life and just makes me want something I don’t have? We’re told to keep our minds on Christ and to pray without ceasing, for one thing. For another, I just read Psalm 119 recently and was challenged by the writer’s constant focus on God’s word. And then again we are told to give thanks in all things. Could I notice God’s hand at work in my life, his power and beauty evident in the land around me, or other signs of his glory and grace, and THANK him for it, as often as I noticed a Prius?
Well, I haven’t yet made a complete change of focus, but at least some of the times now when I spot a Prius on the road, after the initial “Oh, another one!” and vague wish to have such a nice car of my own, I am reminded also to find something to thank God for right here and now. And that may be the best thing of all about the Prius.