Every now and then I like to watch the Barrett-Jackson automobile auctions. They are on TV for hours at a time for two or three days. I can’t make myself watch the entire time but I like to check out the cars that they are selling.
There are all sorts of cars. There are muscle cars (my favorite and much more stylish than muscle shirts), sports cars, cruisers, novelty cars, luxury cars; just about any sort of car that has ever been made, some of them almost forgotten, makes its way across the auction block. They all pretty much have one thing in common: they are perfectly restored.
Even ugly cars look remarkable as they slowly roll up to the stage. There are cameras closely scrutinizing every aspect of the car’s interior and exterior. Even the bottom of the car with its perfect exhaust and frame, parts that are normally rusty and covered with road crud, are shown off by a special camera.
The announcers in the booth talk ceaselessly about the car and brag about how awesome it is even if it was never a very good car originally and everyone hated it so bad that only three were ever sold. Now it is perceived as rare and artfully restored to ‘better than showroom’ condition.
The guy down on the auction block begins to walk around the car and point out all of its faults but he seems fine with not pointing out that it was a lousy car in the first place. He mentions the paint is a little off from the original. The air filter cover is not quite right. The tires aren’t vintage style. He nit picks and broadcasts the mistakes and omissions of the restorer. It is rare that the car rolls over the block that he can’t find something wrong with.
The bids go on and on. The price goes from cheap to reasonable, from reasonable to expensive, from expensive to outrageous. The camera shoots to a happy guy that just paid a fortune for an old car that often really isn’t very pretty, isn’t very fast, stops dangerously slow and drives like a log wagon.
The thing is, even though these vehicles are in perfect running order, even though all the parts are like new, even though they are capable of running for years on end, they aren’t going to be driven. They are going to be put in someone’s personal collection in a building somewhere and will rarely even see the light of day. They will sit and look like new, restored by a master craftsman to just sit and do nothing.
Some of these collectors call their building for storing these cars a museum. Sometimes I think we could call it a church.
John 12:26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
God has carefully restored me but he didn’t create this new and improved me to sit and shine. He made me to be used. He made me to burn rubber and make some noise. I’m not a museum piece. I am built to follow Jesus and be where he is, not sit and wait for him to show up where I am, protecting myself from the world inside a building.
Once in a while, a car rolls across the stage that flies in the face of what the announcers like to see. It sends them into a tizzy. The car has modern brakes, a modern engine, a state of the art transmission and ignition system. It has been rebuilt to drive. The guy on the stage says what a shame it is that it isn’t restored back to the original condition while I sit and wish I could drive that car. It is going to look like a classic but drive like a dream. It wasn’t built to sit in a room indoors. It was built to hit the road and breathe heavy as my foot hits the gas. It was built to move and not sit. It was built to be seen in a blur not a static position for years on end.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
I complain about being tired. I complain about feeling beat down and beat up. That is probably a good thing. It means I am hitting the open road. I’m getting covered with dust and road grime. When the rain comes, I’m not hiding inside but I am going down the road with the wipers going and the lights on.
Luke 14:23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go to the roads and paths! Urge the people to come to my house. I want it to be full.”
I hope the roads you travel today lead others to be restored in the Master’s house!