My family bought our first minivan this week. It’s been a long time coming and, surprisingly, I was an easier sell than my wife was. As a musician and a guy with lots of “stuff” I have always packed a lot into small cars. Minivans send out a message, at least to some people, and I am not so sure that my wife was crazy about the message for a while, but practicality won the day and it just made sense for us to get one.
With all of the transitions in our lives recently, I was not a fan of adding car payments to our already complicated lives. While we were looking for a van, we weren’t really looking very hard, but as I drove to an appointment one day, I spotted a used van at a mechanic on the way. I noticed that the note on the car said, “New transmission, 3 year warranty.” That certainly sparked my interest. I called the number on the car and made plans to see it and drive it later that day.
The mechanic seemed nice enough and was incredibly friendly. He seemed honest and reliable. In a town that’s not so big, people talk, and the chances of gaining or losing business based upon your own practices are pretty high. I told my wife about the van and we came back the next day to look at it and take the family out for a drive. We both thought it could be a good addition to our family, but as people who commit things to prayer and don’t act impulsively, we decided to give it the weekend.
While hanging out with a friend over the weekend, somehow the topic of the van came up and my friend informed me that he had been using the mechanic who was selling the car for a few years. He had been fairly happy with him and even said that his passion was to “keep old cars running.” My friend’s car had over 200,000 miles on it and was still going strong.
That phrase “keep old cars running” really struck me. It was an interesting concept to think about someone whose passion was to keep old cars running. When I went in to the mechanic on Monday morning to tell him that we decided to buy the car, I mentioned what my friend had said. He told me that when he was a kid, he remembered his dad bringing him to a car lot and picking out a “fixer-upper” that they could bring home and get running. In fact, he said, he didn’t realize that there were new car dealers until much later in life because of what his dad did with old cars.
You know, people are like old cars, they need restoration, someone to keep them running. We can’t fix ourselves, we need a Restorer, someone whose passion is to “keep us running” and give us “long life.” Kind of fortunate for us that God came to be that Restorer, bringing restoration to people who were desperately in need of it.
I need fixing up, something to bring life to me again. I need Someone whose passion is to keep me running, to restore me, because I can’t do it on my own. Cars are a good reminder to me of that, and there are a lot of things that need to be done to keep them running. Routine maintenance. Replacement parts. Inspections. We need the same thing if we’re going to keep on running.
Next time you think about cars, think about the people who drive them and the people that fix them. Thank goodness that there are people out there who are willing to invest in cars that still have life in them. Thank goodness there is a God who is willing to invest in people who still have life in them, willing to restore them, breathe life into them, and invest in them. I’m a work in progress, how about you?