It's the little things in life that make me smile:
- My daughter's "I love you daddy" e-mails.
- A good Country & Western tune.
- Any University of Miami win.
- Hugs from my wife, my mom, and my kids.
- And every 1000-mile click on my odometer.
I was driving to Ft. Lauderdale one evening when I glanced at the rolling numbers. The count read 203,089. Man I love that! Most cars are victims of junkyard cannibals or serious scrap metal long before they hit 200K. Not this car! And this is no smoke-belching, valve-ticking, ugly old sled. It is four wheels of fun, enough horsepower to make afternoon traffic my personal Daytona, and it doesn't look too bad either.
As I was driving home, musing on my car’s maturity, I asked myself, "What makes it last?" The quick answer: "Taking time for regular maintenance." And while that is true, the real answer is probably, "Just sticking with it." You see I have a love-hate relationship with my `88 Turbo T-Bird. There are the days when the car cupid is in the air; my Thunderbird is fast, it sticks to the road like gum to the shoe, and I am in love. And then there are those days when it won't start and I shout, "I'VE HAD IT!" It's a good thing there are no mountains in Florida or I would test this bird's wings.
What is true of cars is true of relationships. When it comes to friendships and marriages and church families, regular maintenance helps; however, part of the secret is just sticking with it. I think this is what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the church in Corinth. The church had disciplined an immoral man, time elapsed and now Paul was giving counsel:
I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt your entire church more than he hurt me. He was punished enough when most of you were united in your judgment against him. Now it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won't be able to recover. Now show him that you still love him. (2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NLT)
I read that last line and hear him say, "Just stick with it!" Talk with successfully married couples and great friends. Go snooping around lasting companies and loving churches. Ask for their secrets. I'll bet one will be "Just stick with it." Sounds like pretty good advice for any love-hate relationship! Let me be clear. I'm not advocating winking at sin, or ignoring pain, or pretending things are okay when they are not. Paul didn't either, but at the root of great relationships is a love that hangs on and will not let go.
FOCAL POINT: What relationship needs you to "Just stick with it"? What's your next step?
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis