Here’s something true: my dad loves me. I know this because he says: “Cortney, I love you.”
But my dad also says other things like “Cortney, have you gotten your oil changed in your car lately?” “Cortney, you need to get your oil changed.” “Cortney, why haven’t you gotten your oil changed, yet?” “Cortney, if you don’t change your oil every 3,000 miles you’ll have to replace your engine and you don’t have the money for that.” “Cortney, if you take care of your car, it will take care of you.”
Everyone has their neurosis. In his line of work, my dad meets a lot of people who’ve lost loved ones tragically on the road. His own father was a trucker who saw 47 of the lower 48 over the hood of a big rig.
Dad doesn’t take safe travels for granted. So when I feel like I’m being nagged at for maintenance on my car, it helps to remember that it’s all dadspeak for, “I love you. I want to keep bad things from happening to you.”
The Bible presents God in this same light sometimes. “Do this. Don’t do that.” It helps to remind myself that God is not petty and controlling. Instead, a lot of it is Godspeak for, “I love you. I want to keep bad things from happening to you.”
Sometimes love presents itself over concern of a 1997 Honda Accord. And, yes, I just got my oil changed, Dad.