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Friday, April 17, 2015

An American V8!


I recently mentioned that I have been a car nut since I was a kid.  I am not sure when this began to percolate in me, but I do remember starting my long running subscription to Motor Trend Magazine when I was in Junior High.  Hummm, so there we go back to the sixties again!  While in seventh through ninth grade I developed a hobby building model cars.  Now these weren’t just any cars, mind you!  They were ‘60’s mid-size muscle cars like the GTO, Mercury Comet, Chevy Chevelle SS 396, Oldsmobile 442 and the various Dodge/Plymouth Mopar series automobiles.  Most of the models I put together were around 1/24 scale replicas.
Since those days I have relished the sound of a finely tuned V8 engine and the sweet purr that rumbles from their tailpipes!  When we were living in Oklahoma my wife and I were dreaming of getting a new car and for some unexplained reason (better gas mileage than our Suburban I think…) had narrowed our sights down to a Mazda 3, 5 door sports wagon.  We even rented a Mazda 3 over a weekend when the truck was at the dealer getting some work done.  Later on another student and co-worker gave us an old Mazda four door compact.  The car had 196 thousand miles on it and ran for another couple of years after we left it with our youngest son in Oklahoma.
At one point just before our last Christmas in Oklahoma, both of our cars went down so I called our friends at the local Enterprise rental company to see what they had.  I asked for the least expensive model.  Well, when we arrived the only available car they had left was a Mustang!  (It had been snowing and they had were inundated with the need for cars while customers had their own cars repaired from various accidents!)  We were able to rent that car at the small car price and ended up driving it for a month until the Suburban was back on the road.  The moment Piper and I got into that car we looked at each other, smiled and said: “Oh… this is it!”  That long hood, sharp looks and American punch instantly won us over… And as you know… a few years later we now find a Vapor Silver Mustang GT convertible in our garage!
The first thing I did when our older son came to visit a few weeks back was to bring him down to our garage so he could sit in the car and start it up to soak in the beautiful tunes of the small block V8!  To me nothing can come close to the rumble of a V8 engine.  Many times I’ll see what might be a sharp looking “Rice Rocket” driving by, but then have to shake my head in disappointment as it sounds like a souped up vacuum cleaner!  If you want the real thing, then to me (and most likely most guys from my generation), it has to be a V8!
That same thought floated by me today as I read from Luke 24:32.  When the two men on the road to Emmaus declared: “… Weren’t we excited, like a fire burning in us, when he (Jesus) talked with us on the road and opened up the meaning of the Scriptures for us?” (God’s Word ©/Easy to Read Version), I immediately thought about the temple guards who proclaimed to the Jewish leaders concerning Jesus, “… No one ever spoke like this man!” (God’s Word ©)  I also recalled Matthew 7:28-29 where it states that “when Jesus finished speaking, the people were amazed at his teaching.  (For) He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” (ERV/ESV)
Just like the way the rumble of an American V8 impresses me far more than the exhaust sounds of the hot little four and six cylinder cars that are popular on the market today, the folks mentioned in the above scriptures were far more impressed over Jesus’ words than those of their own religious teachers!  The verse in Matthew paints the vivid picture of the listeners being amazed or astounded (KJV) over what Jesus had to say!  For they described His speaking as one having authority!
When you look at the way Jesus taught throughout the four Gospels, you will see that authority to Him was not speaking with judgement, with a superior look (with a ‘know it all attitude’ and always having to have the final word) or as one simply intellectually teaching on a particular subject.  Jesus taught from His heart NOT His head.  When He spoke, you knew it was coming from a very intimate experiential knowledge of His Papa God!
That’s the kind of effect that I desire my words and my life to have on those I come into contact with on a daily basis.  I may not always have the opportunity to bring Jesus and His Word into the conversation, but at least I can mirror through my actions and whatever I say, an image of my personal, intimate relationship with the Master!  How about you?  What or Who do your actions and/or words mirror?  Do you sound like a souped up vacuum cleaner or like the real thing?  I want the world I touch to leave my presence with that same satisfied look that my son had when turned off the ignition on our Mustang and flashed me a huge smile!
So, I encourage you to go out this weekend and give your world something to smile about!  Have a wonderful weekend.  Stay in tune (no pun intended!) to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to sound like today?”

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