The Transformation Of The Old Man And The Car

God, salvation, santificationI read a story recently that put a smile on my face.  The story centered around an old car but it was really a story about memories, shared experiences, love and most importantly, rebirth.

The paraphrased version goes something like this:  In the early 70’s a young urban couple who did not own a car and did not need one for transportation purposes began looking for a vehicle for weekend getaways and longer road trip vacations.  They were getting to the place financially where they could afford something that would be fun but not too extravagant.  After reading a few reviews in various automotive publications they settled on a 1973 Porsche 911 from a local dealership.

For 7 years they enjoyed their little Porsche.  It was their ticket to freedom after long work-weeks and it went up and down the highways and interstates of the US while bringing countless smiles and untold joy into its’ owners lives.  Then, in 1980, a job offer came from a much bigger company in a much bigger city and it was time to move.  The only downside to the new arrangement, no easy or safe place to park their beloved 911 in the big city.  After much thought and several late night discussions the couple decided that they did not want to sell the car so a local storage facility was located.  There the little Porsche would remain, tarp covered and silent for the next 33 years.

Once every few years someone would mention the car and the good times and a discussion would be had as to the car’s future and what should eventually be done with it.  This went on until 2013 when the couple was having dinner with some friends and the discussion turned to reminiscing about the past and the little car was mentioned.  The dinner guests’ eyes lit up, they were Porsche enthusiasts and knew a master mechanic who specialized in restoring early 911’s and encouraged the couple to have the car appraised and to meet with the master mechanic.

Not too long after, the couple stood in the storage facility together with someone new.  The master mechanic had come and lifted the tarp off of the 911 for the first time in many years.  His eyes lit up as he looked over the car.  Even with flat tires and covered in dust he could see the excellent condition of the interior and the fact that the odometer read a little over 35,000 miles.  The spare tire and tool-kit were intact and there was no rust anywhere.

So the question came.  “How much to bring her back to life, the way she was in 1973?”  The master thought for a few moments and then said “$20,000”.  Slightly shocked, the husband replied, “why would I spend $20,000 to restore a car that’s only worth maybe $20,000”?  The master smiled and said “put a 1 in front of your number.  The car’s restored worth is over $100,000.”

For the restoration the couple gave the master full authority to do whatever he needed to do to bring the old 911 back to life.  Every inch of the car was inspected and under the master’s watchful eye and practiced hand, that which needed to replaced was replaced with only the finest and best.  The master even went so far as to call in others who shared his enthusiasm for the project and used their expertise and their hands to make the little car even better than it was when it was brand new.

Finally the day came when the master gave his stamp of approval and said “the car is ready and the work is done!”  So the couple once again hopped into their little 1973 Porsche 911 that looked and operated even better than it did when it sat on the showroom floor all those years ago.  Their first drive was to the local Porsche dealership to have the car inspected and tested and it is not a stretch to say that every mechanic and technician in the place was stunned and delighted to see the absolute perfection of that early 911 sitting in their service area.

Everywhere the couple went people stopped and smiled at the little car.  Even folks not familiar with cars knew it was something special and beautiful and could see the joy that it brought to its owners.  It was clear that the little car had been well loved and was now fulfilling its intended purpose in a special and beautiful way.

As I finished reading the story I realized that I was smiling.  Something about it had warmed my heart and resonated very deeply with me.  I contemplated for a few moments and then I thought about what the Father did for me.  I thought about Him seeing me in the state that I was in and deciding that I was loved and that I had value.  I thought about the process of sanctification and how it sometimes feels like I am being disassembled and certain parts of me are being replaced with better thoughts and better ideas and Godly motivations.  And it didn’t take very long until I understood exactly why it was that I like this story very, very much.

And as I continued with my contemplation I realized that I was smiling and that my heart was warm because I was thankful.  I am thankful that God is still working on me and is still fixing me up for my intended purpose.  I am thankful that rebirth is not only possible but is in process simply because God loves me that much.  My “old man”, my old self, will not be my last self.  The Master is seeing to it and great joy will be the result.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

(2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)


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