Life from the rear-view mirror

Drive it one…fix it three! Vol 7

March 11, 2013 | 1 Comment

JagA while ago I posted a picture of my dad’s old Jaguar on my facebook page. It was a bittersweet memory. The picture on Facebook looked nothing like the car when dad first got it. I’m not sure there has ever been a greater labor of love performed on a motor vehicle.

I remember when we got the car. The person that had the car before dad just didn’t understand it…and couldn’t fix it. Honestly, you HAD to love this car to put up with its quirks. Two carburetors, the infamous Lucas “prince of darkness” electrical system, cloth spark plug wires…it was British “bits and pieces” engineering at its finest. It didn’t look like much when dad brought it home…it was dirty, the seats were old and torn and it looked as neglected as it had been. But even though it didn’t look like much, you could tell it had come from good breeding. A hint of that was found on the dash where there was a brass plaque that read “This car is guaranteed to do in excess of 120 mph from the factory”. These engines were completely broken in before they were ever installed in the car. No break-in period needed…just start it up and let the fun begin…

Once we got the car situated in the garage, dad started in working on it in earnest. Meticulously going through every system. Repairing and replacing when necessary..till one day he was ready to fire it up. It hadn’t run in a long time and we weren’t sure what to expect. Dad put the key in the ignition, turned it to “on” then hit the starter button…it turned over and the Jag moaned a bit but ….nothing. Then it was a  spray of ether in the carbs and a few pumps on the gas. Press the start button once more and the engine roared to life…spitting and sputtering at first then settling down to throaty rumble.

From that point on it became a project of love and lust. Mostly love for dad. He’d be out in the garage after dinner working on the Jag with either me or my brother “holding the light” doing our small part for the thrill of a the occasional ride or the opportunity to push the start button to hear the magic under the hood. Mostly lust for me because my 16th birthday was right around the corner and I had visions of me and a cheerleader gracing the new seats. Sadly my dream was not to be as the house needed a roof and money was tight. So we bid the Jaguar good-bye.

Whenever the Jag comes up in conversation with dad these days it’s always accompanied by the phrase “drove it for an hour then had to fix it for three!” But it was never said with any disdain for the work…because the hour that he got to drive the car was worth it.

Do you ever wonder what God sees in us that he would give so much to redeem us? Most of us aren’t running very well, if at all. We are dirty, needy, clogged up, ripped, torn and out of gas…just like the way my dad found that old Jag. At first, it was hard to see what my dad saw in the Jag..but in the end it was there for all to see. It was worth the work to him.

God sees our potential. The Bible says he knew us before we were born and chose us…knowing the great cost to purchase us…and knowing the work he was going to have to put in to us to be able hit the “start” button of our lives and see our spirits roaring under the hood.

I like to think we have a plaque inscribed on our hearts. It reads something like this…”This person who I love with all my heart is guaranteed from heaven to be able to do exactly what I’ve called them to do….signed God.

2 Timothy 1:7  For I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind


One person is talking about “Drive it one…fix it three! Vol 7

  1. What a beautifully written story and a perfectly drawn analogy. It seems learning early to hold the light while the ‘master mechanic’ is at work has stood you and those who read your devotionals in good sted. I can hear your Dad’s voice saying ‘hold that light a little higher … a little to the left .. that’s it. Good work son.’ Well, train up a child in the way he should go and when he gets old he’ll know how to shine a light on..

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