We’re readying for the break now. Like you, I am trying to wrap up projects—at work and around the house. In a few days I will load my three pixies into a twelve-year-old Rover and make the trek to the great white northeast.
Before ‘ye ole Rover’ makes the trip, however, she needed a few things: a new water pump and gasket, a new radiator top hose, a good coolant flush and, oh, a new rear suspension.

First, the water pump. After you remove the fan shroud you must remove the serpentine belt, then the fan (that big plastic fan that cools the radiator). Now you can see the water pump, which is bolted to the engine block by nine screws. Easy, right?

Well, one more coolant hose, which feeds the bottom of the pump, must also be removed. It took me three hours to remove it. You can imagine the conversation I had with the demons holding that blasted hose.

Once you remove the pump you can see the front of your engine block in all its burly glory. I cleaned the front end of the block so I could see future leaks and then slapped on the new pump and gasket. Success!


Then, after I reassembled everything, the top hose burst during my test drive. After I replaced that hose the engine was leak free. I was so jubilant and pleased with my success that I prepared to install the new rear suspension that had just arrived. I would ready the garage and begin the morning.

Dropping your rear suspension is no joke. Picture this: your truck sitting on two three-ton jack stands placed at the suspension pivot arms—so you can drop the rear axles—with no rear tires, while you lower the whole rear axle to the ground. Pretty awesome, and downright stressful.

Again I ran into a snag, but finished the next morning shouting and pumping my arms in the cool December drizzle; Lyric and Brielle hooted and hollered with me—they’re a bunch of motor-head-pixies. The truck was mechanically ready for the journey north.

If you’re still reading at this point, thank you for sticking around. I’m about to use ‘ye ole Rover’ and mechanical futzing-around as a four-ton-gear-head object lesson.


In the New York Times Bestseller Shop Class as Soulcraft Matthew Crawford suggests that in our land of super-slick intuitive computer interfaces we’ve drifted away from the agency required to fix or build [we don’t work on our cars anymore], to the autonomous existence in a world devoid of psychic friction—we’ve outsourced our brains and mechanical prowess for a life of ease.

One might ask the question, “Do I treat my family and friends the way I treat technology—with a certain flippant nonchalance and disposable indifference?” One might also ask, “Do I approach my spiritual life the way I approach my i[Device] use—with a certain autonomous superiority and lax idiocy?

When I futz around on ‘ye ole Rover’ I tend towards discipline, detail and perseverance. I can’t swipe open an APP, I must turn the wrench. I couldn’t help thinking that my relationship with my wife and kids, and especially with God could use a bit more futzing and wrench turning—more jubilant drizzle dancing.

May we, today, keep close to the real aspects of our lives and faith. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs [futzing around your faith] with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

What you do on a regular basis to keep the relationships that matter most to you real and vibrant? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

— Soulcrafting Our Dazzle Dance http://bit.ly/VGkxUI

Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.