Even Cars Are Holy

Written By Renée Miller

They are an amazing gift to life, really—automobiles.  Diversely colored and shaped, these metal boxes with pipes and belts, wheels and windows take us to the people we love, and to the places we work that provide income so we can live.  They take us where we can buy our food, give our children new experiences, help people in need.  They are used to move us into new spaces or remodel our current spaces.  They help us see new sights, they engender hope for the places yet unseen, and they give us freedom to explore.  These metal boxes with working engines make our world and our souls bigger.  They are holy because they help holy things happen.

Because automobiles also have an impact on the environment,  it's important to appreciate their holiness and expand our practice of simplicity by exercising discernment about how and when to use our cars.  I was without a car for more than four years because I lived in an urban area and didn't need to drive.  Now, I again own one, but it remains parked nearly all week.  It ferries me around only two or three times a week.  I find myself more attentive and grateful for it simply because I am using it less.

The Hispanic culture has it right when they seek a blessing on every car they purchase. Could it be that calling a blessing down on these machines might actually help us to see how blessed our lives really are and how rich the possibilities are that lie before us? Instead of thoughtlessly turning on the engine and speeding down the road as you're trying to fasten your seat belt and talk on your phone, why not ask yourself if you can appreciate your automobile more by using it less?  And when you use it, try this:  Sit still after you put the key in the car and offer a prayer of blessing for the machine that will be carrying you to your destination?  You may just find that your journey is tinged with tendrils of unexpected grace.