I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope. Psalm 130:5
My husband loves to drive through car lots, and when he does, I want to curl up on the floorboard, especially if I see salesmen strolling among the parked vehicles, excited to see a potential buyer. They wave Dave down and ask if he wants something in particular. Dave explains that he is “just looking.” Then the small talk begins. Before I know it, Hubby is sitting in a truck we clearly cannot afford, and the salesperson is grinning. Our conversation never wavers when we leave the dealership and start home.
“Dave, honey, you get their hopes up, and I feel sorry for them because we aren’t going to buy another car.”
“I give them someone to talk to, so they’re not bored.”
“They talk to you because they think you’re going to make them a commission.”
“Patty, what if they offer me a steal?”
“And when has that ever happened?”
Last week, we were in Henderson, Nevada, when Dave turned onto the freeway exit named “Auto Road.” Car lot after car lot, we looked at every vehicle on display. It makes no sense.
When we were first married, Dave worked as a car salesman in baseball’s off-season. I made more money waitressing than he did selling used vehicles. He knew what it was like to get his hopes up, only to have them dashed. Hubby claims that salespeople are used to it. They don’t take it personally.
I don’t buy that any more than I’m going to buy a new car. There’s no fun in hoping for something, convincing ourselves there is a possibility we will get it, but then don’t. A date. A job. A good doctor’s report. A diet that works. A souffle that doesn’t sink. A decent golf score. A yard without mushrooms. (Trust me, I know.)
But in reality, isn’t life all about hope? Martin Luther preached, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” We place confidence in our future improving, yes, but the key is not that we hope, it is where we place our hope. I don’t hope for 30 pounds to disappear overnight (okay, maybe I do, just a little) or for a Linkedin offer to join the rodeo (although, that too would be really cool).
Instead, I choose to put my hope in One who cannot fail. The only One who will not fail. My favorite scripture was written by the prophet Jeremiah: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. That doesn’t mean that I know what that future will entail…which is probably a really, really good thing. It just means that whatever that future is, I trust that God is in the driver’s seat.
And I’m not cowering on the floorboard next to Him.