Max Dawson, is a friend of mine, fellow Hoosier and preaching colleague. Max is also a car guy. He loves cars. Every Monday he publishes a column he calls “Pontiacs, Points , and Proverbs.” Each post is some story about a car with a spiritual application.
In response to one of his columns, Max asked me to write about my first car–a 1955 Chevy. This is from his facebook page on November 21st. I hope you like it.
Max’s recent article referring to the 1955 Chevy reminded me of my first car in 1964. A nine year old Neptune Green ‘55 Chevy.
I took my drivers test in that car. Drove it school, ball games, and summer jobs. I had my first real date in the ‘55 Chevy. It took me to preaching appointments in central Indiana, to such places as Mooresville, Stilesville, Greencastle, and Terre Haute during my junior and senior years of high school.
When I shared these thoughts with Max, he suggested I write a piece with a spiritual application. Then it dawned on me. My ‘55 Chevy really wasn’t “my” first car. What? My Dad bought and paid cash for the ‘55 Chevy. He changed the oil. Replaced the tires. Did the maintenance. Paid the insurance. And although I did buy some gas, more often than not, it would “miraculously” have a full tank when I left for a preaching appointment.
Reflecting back, I realized that I enjoyed the benefits of the ‘55 Chevy with no investment, very little expense, and minimal responsibility. Then it occurred to me there’s a lot of folks in the church just like that. They come to worship, but never get involved. They make no investment. Their contribution is negligible or non-existent. They’re content for someone else to minister, serve, and sacrifice, while they enjoy the benefits of membership with none of the obligations.
These members are often some of the last to arrive at services and the first to leave. They never teach a class or take a public part in the service. They don’t visit the sick, or minister “to the least of these.” They’re not a part of a small group or mid-week Bible study. They never engage socially with other Christians. But they’re members… just along for the ride.
Somehow such people seem to overlook the numerous “one another” commands in the Bible that speak of our mutual responsibility and accountability. Like, “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). “Encourage one another.” “Employ your gifts to minister to one another” (1 Peter 4:10). And “extend hospitality to one another” (Romans 12:13).
After Norma Jean and I married, I quickly learned what it meant to purchase, pay for, and take ownership of my actual first car–a 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass. As I matured, I came to appreciate my Dad’s help during those early years of learning and growing. The application is for us is to mature spiritually. To grow in Christ. To learn responsibility. And to assume accountability. We should be motivated by the price Jesus paid for our salvation. And take ownership for our investment in the Lord’s work.
Ken Weliever, The Preacherman