Car Trouble

Driving 75 miles an hour on the interstate, my stomach dropped. It was not a good feeling. 

We were on our way to visit family we hadn’t really seen since pre-pandemic. It was a five hour drive, but at the halfway point the transmission slipped out of gear. I pushed the gas pedal and it only revved, and no power was going to the wheels. 

I pushed down the slight panic I felt as I guided the coasting minivan to the shoulder. Meanwhile the kids looked up from their books and started asking what was going on. 

Unfortunately, this is not an unfamiliar situation for our family. It seems that when we make long road trips, we encounter breakdowns. We had an alternator go out in the middle of Nebraska once, where we were rescued by a golfer (long story). 

A couple years later the AC died in late July on our way home east from Colorado (Nebraska seems to be a curse for us). 

We had the passenger side window shatter randomly at 5 am on an overnight drive to Florida, which made me think we were dying for a split second. 

We ran out of gas in Minnesota, 3 miles from the exit where our hotel was to be (my fault!). 

We had to have several wheel studs replaced on a trip to Illinois once, when we thought the wheel was going to fall off because I hadn’t tightened the lug nuts enough when rotating the tires, and three of the five broke off completely. 

Oh, and there was that time a radiator hose sprung a leak and I had to fix it with parts from a nearby Home Depot. 

At this point some of you might be thinking, “Cody, you should maybe fly more and drive less.” And you might be right… Did I mention that I’ve also totaled 2 cars?

In the midst of this particular event, as per usual, were the voices. Yes, the voices of my wife and kids trying to figure out what is happening and what we are going to do next, etc. But also the other voice...

“Cody, you should have known. You are helpless now. Better not mess up. Everyone is watching you. I thought you were just supposed to trust God and not get so stressed and snippy. Is this how a good dad would talk to their kids?” 

The voice simultaneously triggers my shame and fear, and then judges me for it. 

The Enemy, reminding me of who he says I am. 

There have been plenty of times in the past where I have agreed with the voice. As I become increasingly aware of the voice, I am more able to break those agreements and remember the truth. But only through time, and with the aid of those closest to me taking the intentional time to help me see those false agreements, and call me to a higher truth. The truth of who God made me to be and says that I am.

This was not a dumpster fire. I was able to, for the most part, calm myself and deal with the situation without biting any heads off or getting down on myself. God provided, as he always seems to. How’s the van? I’m still not sure, and I’m praying it doesn’t need a whole new transmission. 

But the real point of the story is to invite you into my story and to help you engage yours. 

How has evil been whispering in your ear lately? How have you agreed with it? Do you have brothers who are helping you see and calling you up?


Cody Buriff

Director of Resource Initiatives, Restoration Project