What kind of pickup truck would God drive?

Published 11:21 am Saturday, October 20, 2018

by Nathan Decker

“You might be a redneck… if the blue book value of your truck goes up or down depending on how much gas it has in it.”
– Jeff Foxworthy

I stood in the bank the other day and listened with joy as two friends yank one another’s chain about the brand of truck they drove. There were the classics about Ford: “Found On Road Dead” and “Fix Or Repair Daily.” And old standards about Chevy: “Cheapest Heap Ever Visioned Yet” or “Cracked Heads, Every Valve Rattles, Oil Leaks, Engine Ticks.” Then there were some new ones: “Flipped Over Rusted Dodge” and “Given the choice between pushing an old Ford that doesn’t run and driving a brand new Chevy, I’ll take the Ford.” Of course other brands are never left out. Dodge was bought by Fiat, so many now say “Fix It Again, Tony.” Even Toyota and GMC aren’t immune as their trucks are called Toy-yoyos or Government Motor Company.
Men and women who drive trucks love to pick on each other with tongue-in-cheek humor about “mine is better than yours.” For most of us, this is done as playful humor with no harm intended whatsoever. Deep down we recognize that other than towing capacity and cup holder placement a truck is a truck. As a United Methodist pastor I have had similar relationships with Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian and non-denominational pastors. We would tell jokes at the expense of each other, knowing that the ribbing was never meant to be taken seriously, but rather as a means for us to recognize one another as brothers and sisters in the same family.
No one can pick on you better than your family. But the ones we love the most are also the ones we can hurt the most. Church families often hurt one another. The early church had a lot of divisions. Gentile, Jew, Male, Female, Slave, Free, Rich, Poor, Powerful and Powerless — the church had them all, and the church was often stressed or torn at the seams trying to keep them all together. And they told on each other, not only in jest, but also to cause pain and suffering.
Today isn’t much different. We are a diverse faith. Yet, we still tend to think our understanding or our vision of God’s will is the only one that could possibly be the truth. We are too often willing to put being right ahead of practicing compassion, love and listening.
God is less interested in what kind of pickup truck we drive; God is more interested in where we are heading and how we are treating each other on the journey.
I drive a Ford. That doesn’t mean I have to hate people who drive Chevy or Nissan or any other brand. I have beliefs that are different from yours. That doesn’t mean we can’t worship together as the Body of Christ. On the road of life, we are called to travel together and look out for each other more than brand loyalty, church loyalty or letting anything come between us loving God and loving our neighbors. Drive safe no matter what you drive, and respect each other. After all, it’s what Jesus would do.

“You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
– Galatians 3:26-28

NATHAN DECKER is the pastor of High Street United Methodist Church. Contact him at 562-3367.