She weren't much to look at, she weren't much to ride,
She was missing a window on her passenger side.
The floorboard was patched up with paper and tar,
But I really was something in my old yellow car.
An American boy with his hands on the wheel,
Of a dream that was made of American steel.
Though the seats had the smell of a nickel cigar,
I really was something in my old yellow car.
Somewhere in a pile of rubber and steel,
There's a rusty old shell of an automobile.
And if engines could run on desires alone,
That old yellow car would be driving me home.
After a verse or two describing what all happened in his old car, ranging from sickness and regurgitation to smooching and romance, he then compares his situation in that day to this one, ending his thoughts with what amounts to a prayer…
Take a look at me now throwing money around,
I'm paying somebody to drive me downtown.
Got a Mercedes Benz with a TV and bar,
And, God, I wish I was driving my old yellow car.
God, I wish I was driving my old yellow car!
Most everyone who ever had a beloved first car or truck can relate to these words. My wife and I still cling to the memories her old 1966 Mustang from high school, of my 1973 C-10 Chevy pick-up, and our first ever post college vehicle purchase: our prized 1983 CJ-7. And yet, none of these can compare to what will be on display tomorrow as our church hosts her eleventh annual “Cruise In” Antique Car Show.
Here, one will be able to see most everything from Model T’s of the teens to Muscle Cars of the seventies. And every single one of the large number of cars, trucks, tractors, and motorcycles on display will be there for only one reason – because someone cared enough to redeem them.
You see, what will set the hundreds of vehicles there tomorrow apart from the thousands of others that now reside in fields, barns, junk yards and scrapheaps in this area is simply that someone cared enough about them at some point to seek them out, to acquire them, and to undertake the extensive and expensive process of restoring them. This brings me to my point...
Each time I walk through this dazzling display of automobiles, I am reminded that this is a picture of humanity. Like worn out and abandoned automobiles everywhere, human beings, so often used up and beaten down by the ravages of sin, can find themselves discarded and abandoned, with little or no apparent sense of value.
But that all changed when Jesus Christ showed up. God’s Son saw in us inestimable value. He prized us so much that He sought us out. He then paid the price to redeem us and undertook the labor to restore us. The result? We have even more value to him now than before. Why? Because that which was lost to Him has now been found and fully restored.
While there were no rusted out automobiles in the first century, there were certainly parallels. Perhaps the best example is the one which I referenced in my previous blog, the story commonly referred to as "The Parable of the Prodigal Son", as told by Jesus Himself in the fifteenth chapter of the New Testament Gospel of Luke (verses 11-31):
11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31“ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
Dead, but now alive! Lost, but now found! Rusted, discarded, and abandoned, but now redeemed and restored! All I can say is “What a ride!” Better yet, “What a redeemer!”
NOTE: Dan Seals (February 8, 1948 – March 25, 2009) was the younger brother of soft rock duo “Seals & Crofts” member, Jim Seals. Dan himself was once one half of the duo “England Dan & John Ford Coley” before pursuing a solo career in country music. Along the way, he had many, many recognizable hit songs.
LYRICS SOURCE: Dan Seals - My Old Yellow Car Lyrics | MetroLyrics.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/luke/15.htm.