Learning about life under a car's hood

Published 7:23 pm Monday, June 7, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford
I am sure that anyone who has seen the movie Forrest Gump can repeat a famous phrase in the movie, even as far as mimicking the extreme southern drawl. But thinking about it, I would add there are a lot of things life is like, not necessarily just chocolates. It might not be as popular or sell millions of bumper stickers, but I'd say life is like an oil change.
Thinking back to the oil change I made to my car, I can see a lot of similarities between it and life in general. There are things about the oil change that are very simplistic, yet represent things in life that are very complicated.
When I got my driver's license, my dad thought not only should I know how to drive, but also how to take care of my car. So, Sunday afternoon, I had a little free time and thought I'd change my car's oil, which was a little overdue. Before I pulled my car into my garage, I laid out all my tools before I set out on my adventure. Then I checked to make sure that I had an oil filter to replace the one currently on my car, and also had enough oil to refill my car. I guess this would bring me to my first point or action that corresponds to life. Everyday, millions of people prepare for their day's journey. Not knowing what you might face through the day, you have to do your best to make sure that you are prepared as much as possible both mentally and physically.
With my car in the garage, it was time to jack it up, so I could have access to the oil pan and to the oil filter underneath my car. From here on out, safety is the name of the game. Sure, it's just changing the oil, but that type of attitude can lead to carelessness and possibly accidents. This would bring us to my second point, unexpected accidents can happen at anytime. But, that doesn't mean we can't prepare for them. Just as I place safety jacks and blocks under the car and behind the tires; in our daily lives we can guard against accidents by doing things like wearing our seatbelts when driving.
Now it is time to drain the oil from my car. Removing the drain plug, I am able to let all the old oil out of the car. If the oil is a little warm, it makes this process a little faster since the oil is thinner. Let it all out. I bet you thought I was talking about the oil, but it's also my third point. Let it all out. Leaving life's angers and frustrations all bottled up won't do anyone any good, especially yourself.
After removing the oil and the oil filter, it is time to replace both. But only after replacing the drain plug. As you might have guessed, this is another point that relates to life. Instructions, rules and order are not only important in life, but necessary. If I had changed the oil in my car, not following a set order of steps, I would have accomplished nothing but a mess.
Finally, it is time to put the new oil back in the car. You should replenish the cars fluids per its specification. Just like vehicles, our lives are different and require different things. Take the time and make sure that you replenish your life with what it needs.
I hope these points or thoughts help you as you take care of yourself and drive down the highway of life.
Chuck Bodiford is the Publisher of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached by calling368-2123 or by email:
chuck. bodiford@atmoreadvance.com

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