I enter to find three men conversing. Two customers and one mechanic grace the mostly done office in my new favorite garage. I quietly lie down the boss’s lunch and turn to leave without interrupting more than I already have. The busy man interrupts himself and says, “Thanks, honey. I’m hoping to change your oil while the car is here if I have enough time.”
“I thought you changed it Saturday.”
“I just rotated the tires. I didn’t have any money to buy the oil.”
He points to customer #1 and goes on, “But this guy got an inspection so now I can get it.”
I pause for a moment and survey the main work floor. I study each phenomenally handsome vehicle. A wave of humility comes over me as I realize what my leader has just done in light of what he does each and every day. I consider just who he is and how much he has changed. Pride has taken a back seat and all I see in this moment is the image of Christ upon his face.
How humbling it must be to handle those material things you once would have beg, stolen, or borrowed for day in and day out knowing they do not belong to you.
I return to my children and I strive to imitate that great leader.
In the forefront of my mind I keep a detailed picture of that work floor. I continually remind myself that I do not need to impress any person who walks into my life with false notions of my own success. I consider how much more influential I can be if I learn to humbly admit when I’m spent. I save a screenshot of the beautiful task-makers who wait not so patiently in my work space. I hang it up alongside that garage floor in my mind and I pray for the grace to imitate the head of my house.
These children do not belong to me. This mother is not my possession. I will never have ownership over any of the people in my life. God is the owner of them all.
As the mechanic cannot drift, race, or punish the possessions of the men who employ him and whom he greatly respects, I cannot overwhelm the property of the God I serve. I can, however, do something far better. I can do as he does. I can know them like the performance mechanic knows those amazing machines. Doubtless there is even greater reward in daily knowing intricately what I love most than in trying to simply use it, store it, and own it as it dusts alone in some detached garage somewhere. Surely, in knowing them I can more readily humbly remember who really owns me, too.
Furthermore, I can help them become everything their real owner wants, intends, and has designed them to be. I can test and tune them towards true greatness. I can dismount myself from my former false throne, interrupt what seemed in my yesterdays to be the most important conversations and offer them a simple thank you for the opportunity to serve them as well as for their service to me.
Yes, I follow a great leader. One who is not too proud to change the oil in a Ford Focus next to his next three supercharger installs.