E-votional - The 1970 Barracuda
March 15 - 21, 2004


“Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.””

Luke 19:9-10 (The Message)


In May of 1970, at a Plymouth Dealership in Wisconsin, a new Barracuda was purchased.  She worked there and her husband was working for the University of Wisconsin.  The young family, with a 6 month old baby boy was beginning their life and journey together.  Sometime after, the car no longer fit their needs and they traded for a more practical vehicle.  The story could have ended there, however, some 15 years later the story received new life.  The summer before turning 16, my grandmother gave the me the car back, the same car my parents had traded her 15 years earlier.  In rough shape, need of restoration, I got my first car.  As a project, the car was not finished until it was sold, some 4 years later.  New paint, interior, rebuild engine and transmission, the car was ready for a new life, and not the life of an irresponsible college student.  It was time for the car to move on.  I still have pictures, memories, models and die-cast replicas of the car.  The truth is that I could not restore the car beyond what had been done, it was going to take an expert to bring the car to the next level.  She is now somewhere in North Carolina.

Hear the Good News, our story is similar to that of the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, God waits to restore us and to take us to the next level of existence.  The first thing for us to understand is God can bring us back to strength. God Heals, brings us back to life, brings restoration & hope. It is God’s Promise, in Deuteronomy 30, which tells us He "will restore everything you lost; he'll have compassion on you; he'll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered." We find this hope in the New Testament story of the Healing of the Paralytic. In both instances He is involved in our lives, and He does this because He has a plan for us. Our biggest trouble is we can hear this with our head, but it is a difficult thing to assimilate in our hearts. Our trouble is in the fact we have been in need before and felt left alone or abandoned, yet at the same time we have seen God’s activity in the world and know of His presence. How do we find our selves in such a mess?

We are here because, to begin with, life involves an element of brokenness, we are anything but perfect. We are As-Is. We have both been born this way and shaped into this condition by life. Story of Zack, Luke 19, the story of an as-is man doing his job, shaped by his job, but being re-shaped by Christ. Our self interest is part of our brokenness. Looking out for ourselves is as-is. No one takes that first job with the plan or thought work will consume their life. No one stands at the altar planning that the “I do” will end in divorce court, or has children and plans to spend more time at work than with their kids. I do not know anyone who starts to exercise planning on quitting at the first hint of soreness. I do not believe anyone would join a covenantal group planning on destroying the chemistry of the group. Absolutely not one person who comes home from work to a glass of wine to take the edge off plans on becoming a secretive alcoholic, yet all these things happen. Further, we may have a leg that is a little longer than another, missing a finger, overweight, underweight, born with a physical, emotional or cognitive challenge. These are merely reminders that we are as-is. We wear an as-is tag everywhere we go, however we have can become so adapt at hiding it, we forget our own perfections. We hide the tag by … pointing other’s imperfections, … showing only our strengths, denying our weaknesses, … hiding behind a façade of who we are not, … not contributing to those things around us, … living life on the offensive or defensive. Show me a person who can not see their own brokenness or imperfections and I will show you someone broke, someone as-is. To make matters worse, the World is As-Is. We are at the mercy of other people and other influence in this world and life we live. But, the great news is God Meets Us. Where? In our brokenness, our as-is state. So, God is there, what do we need to do as we seek to reconnect with God and find restoration? First we have to turn on and tune in. Then when we tune in we must listen. And ultimately, we must allow God to Change us. God is the only one who can restore us, finish us, it is God’s work to do. We can confidently expect God to be intimately aware of and deeply concerned with our lives, our future, and the role we are to play in this world. We then can and will face this world with his restorative power. My die-cast Barracuda's, models and pictures point to what might be, ought to be. The car meant enough to me that I still have them. That was a car, think of what you mean to God.


   Gracious God, restore me please, help me to be all I ought to be. This, I know, can only happen through and by You. There are no short-cuts or alternative restoration processes, it is Your changing power, because You are the author of my life, the Artisan Himself. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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