Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for June 1, 2016


My husband has decided he wants a new car. Well maybe not a new car - maybe a new to us car. But new is good….. This was brought on by the fact his current car - a cute little red Pontiac Vibe that he had had his eye on for months before he finally broke down and bought it - is approaching the 200,000 miles mark and as you can imagine is starting to show its age just a bit. He has maintained it well but after that many miles cars just tend to get a little tired; just as we all do as we age a bit. Over the last couple long trips he has started to hear a clunk here and a rattle there and the power (well, what power it had anyway) is waning just a bit. At least enough that the lack of power is noticeable when trying to maintain a proper speed to the surrounding cars.
Well the decision to begin to think about buying a new or newish car is the first step. The next step is what is that car going to be? What kind of car do we want? Well - the what kind of car do we want is a silly question because I don’t think we are going to get a BMW X5 or a Cadillac Escalade or a 1966 red convertible mustang with white interior…. So the proper question should be what kind of car do we need?
I already have a good size SUV All Wheel Drive with the trailer hitch and all the bells and whistles. What we need is a smaller, gas efficient car to tool around town, for my husband to drive to work and just be ‘that other car’ we have. We have a ‘toy’ car that may or may not be able to run on any given day so we don’t need another one of those. The problem today is that there are so many different kinds of cars and different sizes and different colors and different models - well put your imagination to a car any particular size that does any particular thing and I imagine you will be able to find it on one of the myriad of car lots around town.
Our thinking process led us to begin the arduous process of driving around car lots and perusing what was available. Here in was our first mistake. One just doesn’t driving around car lots and peruse what they have because you are driving slow enough and heaven forbid you get out of the car because faster than a speeding bullet there is a salesman.
Now granted car salesmen make their living by selling cars. So naturally they have a vested interest in you as you are perusing cars and thinking about what kind of car you might eventually want to purchase. However what we quickly learned is that every car dealer is having their end of the month, beginning of the month, middle of the month, end of the quarter, special Tuesday, sale and there will be a great deal - or the best possible deal - or you wont find a better one anywhere else deal and all of these deals are only good for that one evening and ‘I’m not kidding” or “This is for real” always accompanies the plea to immediately jump on this deal.
After we heard this so many times we have become almost immune because every car salesman at every car dealer said about the same thing…… is there car salesman school somewhere that teaches the proper lingo to rope people into buying that end of the millennium best deal ever you have to get it now car?
The end result become that we started our car perusing after the lots were closed. I sort of felt like a thief casing the place driving around in the dark (but well lit parking lot) look at cars when we knew no one was around. Somehow I figure our license plate is on a video somewhere and I fully expect to start getting phone calls asking me if I am interested in buying a car…
I do have a certain amount of empathy for the car salesman whose livelihood depends upon the number of cars they sell - but I’m still going to continue my avoidance tactic of late night car lost perusing…..
Sometimes we in the church become like over eager car salesman. In our zeal to let others know about the wonderful love and grace of Jesus Christ we can get a little annoying. The result is that people, especially people who have yet to come to know Jesus as their means of salvation and peace, start to avoid us. Yes - they avoid us. “Oh no. Here comes that Jesus person again and they are going to inundate me with how great their church is and how could I pass up another cover dish dinner…” “Oh, no! Here he comes, he is going to tell me that same story about his love of Jesus, again.” “Look out, she’s coming…..”
Now, don’t get me wrong. We are called to tell others about Jesus. We are called to let other people know of the joy and peace on our lives - but if that is all we talk about; if that is our conversation topic every time we get around a person who doesn’t share our faith, then people are going to just stop listening. People will start crossing the street to walk on the other side… It will be like we have a big “Avoid me” sign on our back.
Come on, admit it, wouldn’t you start to avoid yourself…..
We as the followers of Christ don’t have to be annoying. We don’t have to think that we need to wear people down and they will come to church with us. In fact how many people will come to know Jesus if everyone ignores us?
If we just walk the walk; if we just live the life we are called to live; if we just remember who we are - the message will ring out loud and clear and God will do the work of allowing people to see Jesus through us.
Be amazed at what God can do!