Because we raised four sons, our driveway resembled a used car lot or even a junk yard. The boys became experts at finding automotive bargains and owned many a car with a sticker price under $500.
They knew how to fix most of what was wrong with their purchases and usually kept them running for years at a time. Collision insurance was unnecessary, and “ride-pride” was never a problem.
One of those cars, a Chevy Nova bought as a college-car for $400, has become a family legend. Bought eight years ago from a librarian who drove it only three blocks to work and back each day, it’s become the longest-owned vehicle of the 61 cars we’ve owned over 41 years. It was actually sold two times, but none of us felt right about that. In both cases it was quickly bought back.
Like a homing pigeon, this car keeps coming back to us. I wrote about its coat of many colors (six of them) in another post [June 26, 2010], and now it boasts a seventh identity, snow-camouflage, the perfect fit for a Michigan winter.
Last weekend Nelson bought it back yet again from a friend in TN who had owned it only a month. In driving the eight hours home, he couldn’t get over its excellent performance: 30 miles per gallon, straight-arrow handling and a steady ride even at 85 mph.
Some cars are lemons, some are champions. Although this car has a few cosmetic flaws, we aren’t surprised when strangers offer to buy it. Even this week another would-be buyer wondered if it was for sale.
I know a handful of people who are much like this car. They remain fresh and interesting no matter how old and refuse to be discouraged or give up on life. Enthusiasm for each new day runs high, and their optimism is infectious. They have the rare ability to find something good in even miserable circumstances and then focus on those.
God works this way, too, pointing out the positives to us, particularly when we’re surrounded by negatives. He says, “I know you feel unlovable, but remember that Almighty God loves you more than you’ll ever know,” or “Yes, this day will be a challenge for you, but I’ve gone ahead and made the rough places smooth,” or “I understand how lonely you feel, but isn’t it great to know I’ll be with you, no matter what?”
And one thing is certain: God will never sell us out and promises we’ll never get taken from him either. He’s paid a dear price for us, and we’ll always belong to him.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)