This past week my truck was stolen. I parked it at about 7:00 pm one evening and went outside the next morning to pick up my newspapers and I noticed something missing. Then I remembered that I had left everything in my truck. I had my hands full of stuff so I forgot my cell phone in the truck and simply dropped the keys on the floor and left the doors unlocked. I guess I was inviting someone to take it.
After a few calls to people who I thought might be pulling a practical joke on me, I called the police and took care of the filing needed for a stolen vehicle. I went through the first day with kind of a smile on my face like this was still some kind of practical joke. But as time went by it sunk in more and more. A lot of my life was in that truck, I put hours sitting there and driving all around Vegas each week. I listen to my books on CD, I make appointments, I hook up my laptop, I stash everything I might need in one of the storages spaces: maps, phone book, wet wipes, ibuprofen, and even a finger nail clipper. And now it was gone. I began to feel as if my life was stolen from me.
A friend of mine was going out of town so let me borrow his car while I worked out the details with the insurance. I filed a claim with my auto insurance and then picked up a copy of the police report. Their advice was to drive through apartment complex, high school, and mall parking lots because that is where they find most stolen vehicles when they are abandoned. My wife and I did drive through a few and with each small, white truck we saw my heart would leap for a second until I realized it was not mine.
I spent a lot of time on that truck, keeping it clean, shiny and well maintained. I wanted to keep it for a long time looking good. But now it was gone and I felt like a kid who lost his favorite toy and started moping around the house and whining about what I have to do next. It has taught me again, that sometimes we put too much of ourselves into our things. I didn’t lose my life, I just lost my transportation; how shallow of me to put so much of me into a THING! I look at my wife and my kids and I see where my life really is.
Oh, and by the way, they found my truck in perfect condition in a local apartment parking lot just missing a tank of gas. I guess God thought I learned the lesson he wanted me to.