My first vehicle was better than your first vehicle. I don’t know what your first vehicle was, but I know I’m right.
My parents drove by a ’92 Ford Ranger in some old guy's yard and thought, “That would be a good first car for Mitch.” They told me about it at dinner that night, and I said I’d be glad to have any wheels, especially since around that time I was suspended from school and in some trouble.
They went back to the old guy, picked it up for $900 and brought it home. It quickly became my best friend.
It was indestructible. If I remember right, I had a lot of friends who got nicer, newer cars around that same time and it seems they were always breaking down. Not my truck. It was the Danger Ranger. Nothing to fear.
One night while I was with my senior class at Cheeseburger in Paradise, someone showed up with multiple cans of spray paint, and we all decided to graffiti our names on the truck, making it an icon in the community and likely embarrassing my parents, but overall they were cool with it.
Not only was this truck indestructible, but it was also messy. Now, I know you think “You should see my car, it’s like a dumpster.” Well, mine was like a landfill.
First of all, I drank coffee every day on the way to and from school. Additionally, I was the king of fast food. What would I do with all the coffee cups and other trash? Simply throw it through the back window into the truck bed. When the truck bed got too full, I'd clean it out.
The cab was messy too and so I'd have to go through the seats, trash bag in hand. What was fascinating is what else I'd find. I mean, other than trash. Stuff I had lost or totally forgotten about. I wore really tight pants back then, not sure how stuff made its way out of my pockets.
I remember one time in particular, I found a huge bag of change, a microphone (I was in a band, long story), my old retainer (sorry mom), my Orajel for my shifting teeth since I couldn’t find my retainer, and my old cell phone that I thought I had lost.
It’s crazy to think that all of this was in my truck for some period of time, without me even knowing it. If I had needed money, I had it. If I had needed to make a call, a phone was available. If for some reason I needed to curb some dental pain, again that was possible. But the whole time I’m driving around unaware of what I had with me.
What do you have with you that you have totally forgotten about?
Thanks to Jesus wherever we go we have a truck-bed full of grace with us that we, many times, don’t even consider. And should we get stranded, or breakdown, we react to him as if he has left us hopeless when the whole time his tools are right under the seat.
Upon receiving Christ and following him that first day, whether you were four or one hundred and four, you were given exceedingly great and precious promises in the gospel that you always have with you, and all you need to do is look for them, be aware of them, and use them. Here are just a few, for example:
God remembers your sin no more. Instead, he remembers the sacrifice of Jesus.
Our debt to death was paid in full by Jesus, and we were released back to our true family, the Trinity.
Through Jesus' trial, we were declared “Not Guilty” and in fact “innocent” and dismissed from court.
Jesus' record of obedience has been swapped with our record of disobedience so that, in the eyes of God, not only have we never sinned, but we have always obeyed his law.
Jesus has bought our freedom from our slave-owners (Satan, sin, and death).
Jesus not only paid for the sins that we have done but all sin, which includes the crimes done against us. While they still wound us and we still require healing, we are free from having to exact revenge (make others pay for what they’ve done) or blame ourselves for our mistreatment (try to pay for what others have done to us).
Jesus has transferred us from the neglect of our father Satan into the incredible comfort of our good Father, God. Additionally, we are joint-heirs with our “firstborn brother” Jesus knowing that we have and will continue to receive all the blessings of God the Father now and throughout eternity.
Jesus absorbed all wrath for us on the cross, so that we are free from fearing death, Hell, or separation from God of any kind.
The Holy Spirit
Upon belief in Jesus, God’s Spirit sealed us, filled, and now leads us, connecting us to God through our intercessor Jesus so that our body is now the temple. Meaning wherever we go God goes with us and anywhere we stand we have full access to the entirety of God just as if we were standing in the Old Testament Holy of Holies.
I could go on, but what I'm trying to say is that we’re riding through this life with more around us and in us than we realize. We must take inventory more often and become increasingly aware of what we have with us by God's grace. Our boredom, apathy, and lukewarmness are probably no more than the result of refusing to look at the enormous possibilities within our reach at any given moment.
We’re much more indestructible than we think. And though our lives get messy, really messy, there are a lot of God-given graces to be found amongst the mess.
Clean out the truck. Remember what you've been given.
I will always miss my first truck. I am tempted to find whoever owns it now and buy it back. It may not even run now, I don't know. But at least every time I see it, I'll be reminded of this lesson.