I no longer drive a minivan. I am conflicted about this. I never particularly liked driving a minivan, but when Matthew and I decided to have four kids, it became necessary. I drove minivans for about eighteen years, and they sort of defined me. The purchase of the first one signaled a new time in my life, and saying goodbye to the last one has done the same thing. I have ambivalent feelings about the whole affair. The salesmen at the Honda dealership where we purchased our new CRV didn’t quite understand my melancholy. After all, I was getting a new car. A brand new car. Shouldn’t she be happier? What’s wrong with this lady? They could have had no way of knowing.
It’s not that I am surprised by the passage of time, or by the fact that with three out of four of my kids now driving, or that we rarely ever all go anywhere in the same vehicle. What appears to be a used car lot in front of my house speaks to the truth of that. But letting go of the van brought the realization of the whole situation front and center.
I do love my new car. It came equipped with a few months of free XM radio. I have discovered that XM radio is kind of like our satellite TV… so many stations and still so few worthy of a listen. I found an eighties station, though, and all they play, all the time, is music from the 1980s. Its hair bands, rock ballads, new age punk, and synthesizers. I am a child of the eighties, and I have always loved the music from that era. It takes me back to carefree days of driving my red mustang (a truly outstanding car), and spending time with great friends. Days long before minivans entered my life.
Evening traffic can make my home commute a long one. So as I turn my car toward home, I turn on the XM radio and see how many eighties songs I can sing all the way through as I join the weary masses trying to get out of downtown. It is pretty amazing that I can remember them all. Every verse, every chorus, almost without fail. Mind you, I can never remember where I put my phone, and I am forever forgetting doctor and dentist appointments, but I can remember song lyrics from thirty years ago. The mind is a curious thing.
In listening again to the tunes I loved so much back then, I have discovered something. The eighties lacked a lot of… depth. There was a lot of glitz and glam, and MTV gave us visual music twenty-four hours a day, lending another layer to the shallowness of that time, but there just wasn’t a whole lot to things back then. There was a great deal of focus on having more, and doing more, and yet not so much on being more.
I think the songs from the eighties were pretty tame, with the exception of ones like Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” or The Human League’s creepy “Don’t You Want Me Baby?”, the songs back then just lacked any real challenge to the human condition. Again, representative of the times.
I am throwing this in for grins… I remember I once picked out a song for the majorette line I was a part of to dance to for a pep rally in front of the student body of our high school. It was Shalamar’s hit, “Dancing in the Sheets”, only at the time, I thought the lyrics said, “Dancing in the Streets” like the original Motown hit. Imagine my horror when years later, I heard the song and actually understood the lyrics! I do have to laugh at my own young naiveté.
I can look back fondly both on my youth, and on my days as a young mom driving a minivan. Each brought unique joys and struggles that have lent their influences to who I am now. Perhaps it’s my age… I am certain it is my age, but I desire so much more. Not more things, just…. MORE.
Our great need for more comes from a soul that is never satisfied. We try to fill it up with all sorts of things that leave it still yearning for more. Perhaps our souls long for more because we continue trying to fill our souls with things that don’t satisfy instead of filling it with more of God. Perhaps our soul longs for more because our God is not through giving. It’s a perfect match-up really if we do it right. God gave us a soul that is never satisfied, and God is a god who never stops giving.
We are the guardians of our souls. It is up to us to choose well what we feed them. I am often guilty of feeding mine the wrong things. Wham got one thing right, “guilty feet have got no rhythm.”
I am working on the rhythm of my soul, how about you?