Saturday, May 4, 2019

Jesus Drives Stick

by G. Jack Urso


In the 1980s, I attended a small evangelical Christian college near Buffalo, NY. There was an older student, a guy about 40, who only recently had his "Come to Jesus" moment. He kept going on about how rich he was, but that money didn't mean anything to him anymore. I mean, he went on and on about it. Ok, got it chief. We had separate bills for lunch that day, but he's rich and don't care. Check.

To underscore a point he had already beaten a dead horse with, he directed us to his white Mazda RX-7, a really nice sports car back then, and said how he used to take better care of his car than his wife, who he wouldn't even let drive it before he was "saved," but now, he didn't care who drove it because — you guessed it — he didn't care about money anymore.

"You'd let anyone drive it?" I challenged.

"Yep," he said with his keys in his hand.

"Even me?"

"Sure!"

So I grabbed the keys from his hand and turned to the cute girl next to me and said "Let's go!”

Rich guy asks me if I ever drove standard before. I assured him I was very experienced, having spent the previous summer driving a 1938 Ford Ferguson tractor. [For those of you who don't know, this is like taking a Saturn V rocket out for a spin when you previously only drove a 1938 Ford Ferguson tractor.]

I drove around, stalled it out nearly a half dozen times, and grinded about a pound of coffee changing gears. Cute girl and I got some milk shakes and we enjoyed a warm fall day cruising around in a car probably neither of us could ever afford — well, me at any rate.

We returned 30 minutes later to where rich guy stood at the edge of the parking lot nervously pacing around with both the men's and women's resident assistants hanging close by.

"Hey man, nice ride," I said, tossing the keys back to him.

"Keep the faith," I added.