Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. – Acts 3:19-21
Recently I was driving along a two lane highway out in the middle of nowhere. As I drove, I came up to an intersection where a car was at a stop sign waiting for me to pass. Now I’m sure that you are thinking that there is nothing special about this, after all cars pass other cars at stop signs millions of times a day all over the world, so surely this particular incident was of no greater importance. But what I saw surprised me because in fact, it was quite rare.
The car waiting at the intersection was a Ford Model T – the vehicle that put Ford Motor Company on the map by making cars affordable for everyone. I do not know the year, the mileage, or any of its history, but by all accounts the car was a beauty. Everything about the car looked to be well cared for: the exterior was clean and free of dents and scratches. The top was down, revealing a simple but very well maintained interior. Even the whitewall tires gleamed in bright contrast to the famous black paint. Even though I am not a “car guy,” I found myself intrigued by what I saw. I began to imagine the history of the vehicle, how fun it must be to go cruising on a warm, sunny day, and yes – even how much a car like that must be worth. But as my mind started processing the joys of owning such a vehicle another thought emerged that gave me reason to pause.
The Model T was in production from 1908-1927, meaning that 84 years have passed since the last one was produced. That is a long time for anything to last – especially a machine with moving parts designed to be mobile. So even though I was looking at a vehicle that was clean and impeccably maintained today, it is an absolute certainty that this car has at numerous times been broken down, dirty, damaged, and in need of repair. How many times has it been fixed? How many of the original parts have broken or worn down and needed to be replaced? It’s hard to think about it in those terms when you see it out on the road – but I imagine that in order for that car to still be running today there must have been many, many hours spent in the garage repairing, preparing, and caring for this special vehicle.
In many ways our lives parallel the Model T. We were built for a purpose, to follow a trail that will cause us to travel many miles and in many different directions. Over time we will break down: physical ailments, pain, financial struggles, relationship troubles, loss of loved ones, fear, uncertainty – to name but a few. Some of these breakdowns slow us down, others make us stop entirely. But like the Model T, we have a loving caregiver who keeps us going. God has purchased us, lovingly restored us from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, and sustains us daily by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through God’s care we are able to overcome life’s obstacles and reach that place where we are no longer just another vehicle traveling through life but a priceless classic.