OK, listen up. Before we start this blog, take care of whatever business you need to take care of. Because once we start this blog, we’re not stopping.
Remember those trips as a kid to Grandma’s house? Or maybe it was a cross-country dash to get to the Spam Museum before it closes (6 p.m. on weekdays). Wherever you were headed, your dad would not stop—no matter how bad you had to pee.
Oh, wait. Maybe you’re that guy. There are miles to burn and you don’t have time to stop. Really? You’re hungry again? Just pick up the crumbs on the floorboard from the last time we ate. For the record, I am not that guy—probably due to the fact that I am currently #7 on the list of American males with small bladders.
Some of you just want to see how far you can travel without stopping. You’ve got a bag of Doritos and satellite radio, so you’re good to go as far as your gas tank will take you. And how far is that? 500-600 miles in the best hybrids.
One guy’s got you beat. He drove nonstop from San Diego to New York and back—6,320 miles.
And he did it in a gas-guzzling 1947 Cadillac.
Louie Matter bought this car brand new and immediately began to think “What if …?” For me, that’s usually when my wife intervenes, gives me that look, and asks, “You want to do what??” Not Louie. He began to plan and trick out this car to set a long-distance record.
I know what you’re thinking. Traveling that distance would be easy if you hauled a trailer full of gasoline. And you’re right, Einstein. Louie hauled 230 gallons of gas. But what would happen if he got a flat? And don’t forget: you’re supposed to change your oil after 3,000 miles.
Louie was prepared.
- He also hauled 15 gallons of oil and 50 gallons of water. The car could automatically refill the radiator and change the oil.
- He drilled holes and ran lines through the axles so that the tires could be inflated while turning.
- He installed hydraulic jacks so that the wheels could be raised and changed while moving. A movable platform could be attached to the car should this feat need to be accomplished.
- He added clear panels to the hood so the driver could still see even if the hood was open for repairs.
Even without a child in the car to remind him, someone would eventually have the need to go. Not a problem. In the back seat was a chemical toilet—which also served as his washing machine (eww.)
For food, I would’ve just packed several jars of Peter Pan peanut butter (crunchy), but not Louie. His back seat also included a refrigerator and a stove.
Wow. This car included everything but the kitchen sink.
It had that too. Plus an ironing board, medicine cabinet, and a mobile telephone. Still not impressed? How about a shower on the right running board? And let’s not forget the Turkish water pipe.
It took five years to prep and test, but on September 20, 1952, Louie and two other men left San Diego for New York. And apparently, they arrived showered and wearing pressed shirts.
I’m not sure what Louie Mattar proved, but I don’t wan’t to live my life non-stop. When I take a journey—whether we’re talking about a road trip or the metaphorical journey of life—I want to stop and smell the roses. See the sights. Enjoy the moment. Stretch my legs. Rest.
God wants that too. He commanded us to take a day of rest. All His commands are gounded in His love, and the call to rest is for our benefit.
In both our business and church culture, we seem to think we’re not doing our best for the company and for God if we’re not go-go-go-go-go. I disagree, and I refuse to go along with that any more. I relish the rest—and I am a better father, husband, employee, and minister for it.
In fact, I may go rest now.