chevelle 021

          As far back as I can think I have been crazy about cars. I’m sure we can find a lot to blame on the sixties but it was a great time to grow up being a car nut. The big three were in their heyday and there was an excitement in the air each fall when the new models would arrive. Early in September there would be those teaser commercials where they would pull back a part of the sheet placed over the car to reveal just enough to wet your appetite. When the new cars finally hit the showroom the public would flock to the dealerships to see what the new styles had to offer. A new breed of cars had been brought to the market later to be dubbed as “muscle cars”.  (They are now highly prized by collectors and car buffs.) What would the manufacturers give to have that kind of excitement back at such little cost in advertising? In fact, where did the excitement go?

                    There were several contributing factors that caused the buying public to lose their enthusiasm. In 1970 the EPA dictated certain emission control levels and the muscle car era came to a screeching halt as horsepower became more restricted. Foreign imports were gaining in popularity and consumers began to favor smaller, more economical cars. The quality of the foreign cars were deemed superior to the American product. Most families were becoming two car families as more than one paycheck became necessary to keep up with the Joneses. The biggest factor killing the fall anticipation levels happened when the American car manufacturer decided to keep the same body styling year in and year out. The reason for the September excitement was gone forever. The problems facing the big three today actually have their roots in the events of the late sixties and seventies.

          What does all of this have to do with RESToration? Let me begin by reminiscing about my first new car purchase. It happened 1967 when I placed an order for a 1967 Chevelle from Chevrolet. It took approximately eight weeks to have one built and delivered and I thought it would never arrive. Once it did, needless to say, I was quite pleased. Dad wouldn’t allow me to have many options (nor could I afford them) but it was all mine, payments included. The picture above is of a 1967 Chevelle that I now own and love to drive. When I’m behind the wheel it reminds me of a simpler, perhaps clearer time in our country. This car has been completely restored and it now reflects what the manufacturer intended back in ’67. Restoration for a car is taking it back to new, making it like it was when it was created. Spiritually speaking God offers us the same sort of renewal. One that reflects the intent of His creation rather than the worldly, worn version we become without going through His restoration process.

          When a car is restored, it still must be maintained in order to keep its shiny new image. For Christians, we also require regular maintenance in order to walk in the newness of life. Cars require tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations, cleaning and tinkering. Spiritually we require prayer time, time in the Word, fellowship and solitude. Solitude is where the rest comes in RESToration. God gave us the concept of Sabbath rest for our own maintenance. Each of us need to spend reflective time before our creator, contemplating His word and listening for His direction. This allows Him time to fine tune His will for our lives. We get a new spark, recharged with hope and faith that otherwise erodes under the strain of daily life. Restored cars need to be used otherwise seals dry up and things don’t get lubricated as they should and performance suffers. Restored people need to be used by the creator for His intended purpose or we dry up and our performance will suffer. If you don’t plan for quiet time before the Lord it will never happen. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature…” 1Cor.5:17 (NASB)

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