On Restoring Cars and Man

After sixteen years of driving the same car, I bought a new car. It’s a car I have wanted since I was a kid, and I am actually enjoying driving again.

But as I was in the processing of purchasing the new car, I had to decide what to do with my sixteen year-old car. As I considered what I might get trading it in, the thought came to me: restore it and keep it.

Some part of this impulse may have been nostalgic. When I was a teenager, my parents bought me a well worn car and my father demanded I spend a month restoring it before he would let me drive it to school. That feeling of taking something worn and making it new had always stayed with me and curiously it seemed to resonate in my spirit.

So, as an adult I set about restoring my sixteen year-old car. When I was a teenager I had time and no money, so I did everything myself. Now I have money and no time, so I paid others to do what needed to be done. I started with replacing the floor mats, followed by replacing the sun worn slats on the retractable roof, and then the headlights, all of which had become discolored beyond repair. I then had the wheels refurbished.

The last step in the restoration was to take the car to a professional detailing and paint restoration shop that would do some body work, restore the paint to its original shine, and then coat it with a ceramic finish. It took nearly a month, and it wasn’t cheap. In fact, when I dropped the car off, one of the employees seemed almost perplexed. He was wondering why I was putting this much money into an older car instead of just buying a new car. He didn’t get it.

The person a who buys a new car gets something new. The person who restores an old one one gets something new, but in addition he recovers something that was lost: the shine, the smell, cleanness, and all that comes with a new car. There is both an economy and an addition to the process of restoration that mere replacement doesn’t provide.

God could have started over with a new Adam and Eve. Instead, he chose to restore the old Adam. And because we had forgotten how a new Adam looked, He sent one in the form of His Son to function as a model. The work of restoration He is doing in those for whom the old man has passed away and all things have become new is the work that will change the world. GS

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