That new car smell

Greeting to you all,

I’ve had three new cars in my life. One was a 1978 Subaru Brat (a little pickup truck with seats in the back) that my parents bought for me when I graduated from Lafayette H. S. and the second was a 1987 Subaru station wagon I bought for Kari while we were in West Virginia. And a Kentucky Blue Nissan Rogue that Kari still owns (It’s got 60,000 miles on it now) When I traded that little pick up truck in for a family car when Kari was pregnant with Ricky our first child it had over 200,000 miles, and the station wagon had 186,000 miles on it when we traded it for the worst car I’ve ever owned in my life (a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham that was possessed by Satan). But I’ll never forget the feeling of sitting in a new car…the odometer reading 000,007. It smelled new, everything was shiny, and nothing squeaked or rattled. There is something amazingly refreshing for a guy who sits in his new car, but then one day you come out of Krogers and someone has opened their door and left a ding in it, and the day Ricky vomited all over the back seat from his car seat (vomit always beats new car smell). The mail person ran into Kari one day on our little country road. Cyndi was about 4 years old at the time and when they got out of the car told the mail carrier, and I quote, “You shoulda nota done that!” We got the old Subaru fixed, but the hood never shut right and it always pulled a little to the left. The showroom in Beckley West Virginia seemed like a dim memory.

Life is a little bit like a new car isn’t it? We graduate from High School or College with brand new ideas for our future. The paint is still gleaming on the relationship of our dreams. Inside we’re still unspoiled and clean, but then someone cracks the windshield and things don’t look as clear. That perfect relationship sours as the girl of our dreams trades us in for a newer model. There are dents and dings along the way, tires need to be replaced and we just hope we don’t get totaled in a wreck. Katherine Hepburn talked about getting older in life and said, “Our lives are a lot like a car, things start to wear out so we get them replaced or fixed, pretty soon you hear them say, We don’t make parts for that model anymore!”

Jesus makes it very clear, “In this life you will have trouble.” You cannot live in this sinful world without your share of dents, dings, and scratches. You can almost hear Him promise, “There will be some wrecks along the road…some just fender benders, but others will be roll overs.” So where is the hope? Jesus also says very clearly “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Folks, that’s the hope followers of Jesus have. We become “brand new creations in Christ, all the old things are gone and new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) Our lives are blank sheets of paper to be written on…and we choose the story we write on that page. It’s a story that will be read by those who look at the journey we’re on…and they will see word’s of victory, hope and cheer or word’s of defeat and discouragement. The joy doesn’t come from the kind of car I’m in…the joy comes from whose driving it and where I’m going. My destination is home…it’s heaven, and they are one and the same. Some day this broken down rattle trap will pull into Dad’s driveway and “He who is seated on the throne will make all things new. He will wipe every tear from my eye…no more sorrow, no more sadness, no more death, no more pain.” Like the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:18 “I consider the present sufferings I go through not even worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.” What does our day to day future hold?…I don’t know, but I know who holds it.”

Along for the ride,



2 thoughts on “That new car smell

  1. Lois Constant says:

    I like that analogy very much. My love to all of you.

  2. A very interesting story. I love how you compare things. Miss your Sunday sermons here at Fern Creek CC. Don’t get me wrong, Jeff is doing a great job but I still miss your stories.

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