As I was getting out of my old Sienna at the grocery store this afternoon, a guy stopped me and asked what year it was.
"2005, I think."
"Mine too." He fell into step beside me, and waved at his minivan-- a twin to mine, except mine is steel gray and his was silver. "I was thinking yours looked a lot better."
"Mine's probably in worse shape," I said, walking toward the Harris Teeter. "It's got 160,000 miles on it."
He pointed back toward his triumphantly. "250,000!"
"Wow," I said, genuinely impressed-- and rather relieved to know my car might possibly survive that long. "Have you ever put in a new engine or transmission?"
"No," he answered, "but we've been praying over it like crazy."
I bit my tongue and refrained from making a snarky comment: Well, then, I may be in trouble, because I just don't know if the Lord is merciful enough let an atheist's minivan go more than 165,000 miles. I kept my mouth shut, because I'm polite and don't go around arguing with strangers about religion (well, except on the internet, where everybody argues). But honestly, it strikes me as really, really absurd to pray over a car. Even if you believe in the power of prayer, there are so many more important things in this life to pray over.
Then again, I really do need the darn thing to keep running. I wonder if the old Lutheran Book of Worship we still have on the bookshelf includes a Prayer for Superannuated Vehicles?...