On January 8, 2011

Seasons (or the Death of Cool)

I remember when we first had Eden, I was obviously pretty pumped about having a daughter,  but I vowed then to never to be the owner of a Minivan. We would be the cool parents, you know the ones, they just throw the baby in their messenger bag and hop on a motorcycle as they speed off to whatever cool social event they had just been invited to. Obviously showing up fashionably late.

That dream died this week.

I’ve heard it said that owning a minivan is the death of cool. And while that’s true, I never realized how little value “cool” would be to me at this season in life. I remember reading Paul Reiser’s book “Babyhood” in college, and this paragraph has stuck with me through the years:

“The Mini-Van is the last stop down in the ‘I used to be cooler than this’ slide.  Because in a Jeep you can still at least pretend to be cool. When you’re at a stoplight and an attractive woman pulls up alongside you, you can still smile and convince yourself, ‘Maybe she thinks I’m enormously rugged, and the car is loaded up with equipment for that dangerous geological expedition.’ But in a mini-van you’re fooling no one. You’re on a your way to Gymboree, the side compartments are stuffed with diaper wipes, and the interior is all sticky with Apple juice. But you know what…You’re a dad, not Indiana Jones.”

I remember when I first read that paragraph thinking how sad for those people. But despite my digging my heels in, we now are the proud owners of a previously owned Minivan. Even though I suggested a Viper as a sensible alternative.  Driving back from Dallas Thursday night, I felt an unexpected sense of sadness. Not just for my loss of pride. But for  the loss of a season of life.

Everything has changed so quickly over the last year. We now have two kids, we live in an entire different city, and we’re working at an entirely different church. We’re selling one house and looking for another, and it seems like our little Jeep Compass was the last continuous thing in our lives. And we had lived a lot in it.

There was the time that we were rear ended by a car  going 40 mph…while I was riding in the hatch. Then there was the wreck that happened that turned into a Hit and Run…and so we chased the guy for 10 minutes. There was the time I was driving and “bumped” the motorcycle in front of us. It was the car that I drove Leslie to the hospital for both Eden and Samuel’s birth. That Jeep was the Giving Tree of cars.

Now I know the danger of attaching sentiment to our stuff. First you’re emotional about selling your old car, next thing you know your the creepy guy with a room full of coasters from your favorite restaurants. But the truth is that this has been a hard year of change.We’ve said goodbye to a lot of friends and mentors, and hello to several new ones, and it’s easy to want stability wherever you can find it.

But this morning as I reflect over the last year, I realize that this is the story that we signed up for when following Jesus. Because from Abraham on, being sedentary just isn’t a high priority for God. Seasons come and seasons go. And above it all, He directs our paths, and will raise up new relationships and friends wherever He takes us.

I just hope they realize how cool a minivan can be.

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  • globalguns

    well y’all are not cool again until you have to add a 14 seat commercial van to the motor pool… maybe the Martin’s will be done with the license tags “Joy Bus” and you can inherit them – keep all this in mind as your family grows!!!

  • John

    Jonathan: You need to listen to a great song entitled “Family Man” by Andrew Peterson (it can be found on YouTube). The words will really resonate with you and the comments you’ve shared here. Be well, my friend.

  • Jcrslider

    As some one who just bought a new car this week, although not a minivan :), I can completely relate to the emotional connection. I said goodbye to a car we bought 3 weeks after my daughter was born 8 years ago, the only car my son has known. A car that took many road trips and in which I said many prayers, wept many tears and laughed listening to silly kid songs.

    I may still be a “cool” mom in my SUV, but like you I am trying to keep my eyes on the road ahead while appreciating all of the memories and stops I made on the journey in my former car.

    Lastly, we’ve never met, but I am a member at the Hills. I just want to affirm you in being willing to be “an Abraham” and go where you are sent. Your blog has been a great way to get to “hear” you and what the Lord is teaching you. That community needs you and our millennial generation desperately needs spiritual leaders who can understand and connect with where they are. Ephesians 4:2, my brother in Christ.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Tonya Gambill

    Hey Little Brother. You will really appreciate this little van as much as you travel ( to Arkansas!) You remember many family trips in ours. Yours is white though and I think God would let you put some Hogs on the side remember Noah looked out the ARkANSAW …. It’s totally scriptual! Love ya:)

  • The Wife

    Well I am right there with you…sad to say goodbye, but I love the feel of that wonderful minivan…wooohoooo! I love you and so happy to be on this adventure with you! You are one incredible husband, father and best friend. Sweet words you talented man you!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Yeah, I guess you’re right. A bus is the next stop on this downward slide.

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Thanks Bro. John, I love Andrew Peterson. I’ll look it up! Hope all is well with you!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    JCR, thanks! We actually were in town to buy the minivan and got to stop by The Hills. It was great getting to see everyone on staff again. Thanks for the encouragement, we feel like God is using us here, and that helps us a lot. Thanks again for the encouragement!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Hey sis! Good to hear from you on here. I do remember the trips, now we are going to have to makes some new ones! Love you!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Wow, it’s family day on here. Thanks babe, you’re great (and smokin hot)!

  • Danny Gill

    Being a dad is a greater adventure than any of Indiana Jones’s.

  • Maynard

    Kid you not, my brother traded his pick-up for a minivan the same weekend he got his vasectomy.

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    That’s true Bro. Danny, just with a few more diaper wipes.

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Why would you say that? This hurts, this really hurts. :)