Proud Member of the Junky Car Club
If my dad had an iconic symbol (i.e. Lincoln’s hat, Churchill’s cigar, etc.) it would have been the beat up, worn out, broke down truck that he had to work on for an hour before work everyday. He constantly drove clunkers and suffered greatly when he finally got to the point in his life that he was able to afford a new vehicle and purchased one. After a few months, he threw in the towel and gave the new truck to his teenage son (that’d be me) and came home with a school bus yellow ’70 something dodge.
I always despised the old trucks and vowed to never drive clunkers when I grew up. Now, 18 years later, I’m 35 and I’ve never owned a new vehicle. I find myself working on mine regularly before work and I can’t stand the thought of driving something brand new. I can’t believe it! What happened?
Part of it might be that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but in my heart and mind, what keeps me off the new car lot is the desire to be radically generous with what God gives me and the knowledge that PAYMENTS can be an obstacle to that. That’s why I’m a proud member of the Junky Car Club. The Junky Car Club bills itself as “an act of rebellion against consumerism” and I love the motto -“Living with less so we can give more.” I love it! Making a conscience decision to go without the bells and whistles, so that you can be certain that generosity is possible with what you have. Now that’s counter cultural.
Now, vehicles are incredible and necessary tools and we need vehicles that get us to where we’re going and I’m not saying there is anything sinful about owning a new car or getting where you want to go in style. However, if what we own or want keeps us from a life of meeting the needs of others through generosity, we may be falling prey to the world’s oldest temptation. 1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Do you really need that deluxe package including seat warmers and built in DVD players or is the desires of the flesh, eyes, pride in what you have making the decision for you? Let’s don’t allow our desires to keep us from the will of God.
The will of God is that we be “cheerful givers” (2 Corinthians 9:7) not proud owners, that we be responsive to the needs of others (Philippians 2:3-4), not feeding our comfort with more and more amenities of life. And what’s going to abide forever? Not what we drive or own, but what we do for the cause of Christ and for others. So if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to consider generosity or the needs of others or you think about helping someone or obediently giving to your church, but remember something you own or want, maybe you need to realign your priorities toward that will of God that abides forever. In that is real joy. Putting your hope and meaning into what you drive? What sense does that make? Standing before God in judgement (Hebrews 9:27) you don’t want to say, “God, I wasn’t able to be give of myself that much, but did you see that great truck I drove.”
Today, my old beat up truck is in the shop, because the window wouldn’t roll up last night. The A/C went out again, but just in time for winter. The paint job is fading, but that means it’s not as easy for my boys sneakers to scuff it. The upholstery on the roof now has a hole in it, meaning I have a new pocket to store things in. But the joy of having a Junky, paid for car is that I will be able to help a pastor trying to care for his flock in the flood devastated Philippines this week, I won’t hesitate to give obediently and generously in worship toward God when that basket passes at my church on Sunday, I’m putting back some $$$ for an overseas mission trip next year, and I can take the small salary from the church I’m planting and do what I love to expand God’s kingdom.
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