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Trust the Wheel · 13 August 2016


I am almost afraid to finish fixing my truck. It is silly, I know. But still, there is a part of me that wonders if I even know what I am doing.


My truck has been sitting in the garage for almost three years. It has been a blob in the garage just taking up space. It has been a drain on time and resources. It has been a fun project that almost did not get finished. And now, it is almost finished. There is a part of me that wants to get it done right now, but there is also a part of me that wants to just stop.


It is crazy.


The part of me that does not want to finish is the part that says I am an idiot. An idiot for spending so much time and effort and resources on a truck that is older than my three sons. An idiot for placing sentimental value on a truck just because my wife and I went on our first date in it. An idiot for running said truck with no coolant. That last one is the biggie. For I know that if my truck does not work when all is said and done, I broke it. But good. If the truck does not work when I finish the project, that means that I cracked the engine block. And then, I will say goodbye to my wonderful truck.


On the other hand, the part of me that wants to finish the job says to listen to my friend, Dean.


Dean and I coach track and field together. He is a runner and biker and all around fit guy. And he knows how to train. Both himself and others. In fact, he and our head (and distance) coach talk about training all the time. Part of that is because they also coach the cross country team together. And part of that is because they have this magic wheel.


The wheel is not really magic, but it helps coaches give their athletes training goals. The coach says that the athletes are going to run four-hundred meter repeats on a certain day and he dials up the times the athletes run a mile. The wheel tells him what times the athlete should run each four-hundred meters. Sometimes our head coach questions the times. Dean always says, “Trust the wheel.” Our head coach usually cocks his head in a “yeah, you’re probably right, even though it seems too fast” kind of way, but does what the wheel says. And the kids perform well. Because they trusted the wheel.


Dean is not just the voice of reason on the track though. He is the guru of many things. Including vehicles. I have asked him many questions on my quest to get my truck running again. In fact, he was the one I called when I first got the chocolate milk (oil and coolant mixture) in the oil pan and radiator. He calmed me down with three simple words. Trust the wheel.


Well, I did not understand right away, but with a little help, I got what Dean was talking about. He said that I ought to trust myself and the process. He said that I ought to be proud I got the thing to start again after all the work I did. Then, he helped me think through the whole process and helped me figure out what was wrong. If I trusted the wheel and decided that I did everything right, there must be a leak in only one of two places. The engine block or the timing chain cover. I thought back and decided that the leak had to be in the timing chain cover where I had seen two deep grooves when I took the engine apart in the first place. If I trusted the wheel, that had to be my problem.


If you have read any of the trials and tribulations that have gone along with fixing my truck, you know that it has been a long two years. A summer of working on it getting it running again, a year of not being able to tear it apart again, and finally calling in the cavalry to start the process again. Which is why I am a bit scared about finishing. If I trust the wheel and I get the chocolate milk again, there is only one answer. I broke it real good and the engine block needs to be replaced. Which means that I am done fixing my truck.


I know I am not supposed to make decisions based on fear. It is not what godly people (or those trying to be godly) are supposed to do. I need to trust God and trust the wheel. I need to have confidence that I did what I was supposed to do in the way I was supposed to do it. I need to just continue the process.


Still, even though it is silly, I am a little afraid to finish. But I will.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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