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 is the author of three books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life. He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. He lived in Oxford, England for two years studying beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis. He earned his PhD in Theology under the supervision of world-renowned theologian Alister McGrath. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.