Become A Rat Rod For God!

Recently, I went to a classic car show with hundreds of cool cars on display. Evaluating these cars can be tricky because you never know the full history behind the restoration.  Over the years, I have found myself drawn to some neat looking classic car with loads of shiny paint and chrome only to find that upon closer inspection they had tired, worn out engines and transmissions and enough body putty underneath the gloss to make them look good from ten feet away but not any closer. As I walked down the rows of classic autos taking a closer look, I couldn’t help but think how similar our lives are to this experience.

If you are like me, you have found yourself attracted to more than a few shiny things only to find that upon closer examination they weren’t as first presented. This actually shouldn’t be all that surprising given that we are often guilty of this ourselves. How many times do we dress and prop ourselves up so those around us won’t know how much we really need restored.  I can’t help but think how much better off we would be if we dropped the pretense, quit glossing over the flaws and blemishes and let people see us as we truly are.

In the classic car world, this is precisely where rat rods fit in. A rat rod restoration flips the process entirely. Rat rods often don’t look like much at first glance. These classics generally have a rusty, unrestored body. The dents, scrapes and dings of life are there on full display. Yet, while the exterior is rough, generally the stuff that matters–the guts–the engine, transmission, brakes and steering are all reworked and updated.

I love rat rods precisely for this reason. I don’t know about you, but I have been in a few wrecks in my life. I have been in the ditch, across the median and over the shoulder. I have been hit by my share of deer (and dears) in life and have come out with some well deserved dents and scrapes. Yes, I am most definitely a rat rod.

Like classics cars, most of us have been some miles on the highways and byways of life and those miles have left their impact.  That is why people, like cars, need restoration. This is where God comes in–God alone has the ability to restore us mind, body and soul. This process doesn’t happen with the wave of a magic wand, but rather by establishing an on going relationship with God. Over time, our relationship with God allows us to be restored, updated and renewed.

God sees us as we were, as we are and as we will be. There is no reason to hide the blemishes or patch the dents. God works not with shiny paint and chrome, but with the restoration of the Holy Spirit. I am most definitely a rat rod, but thanks to grace, I am a rat rod for God!


Let Your Godly Lumen Shine Through!

I have always been fascinated by light. In fact, my earliest memory is as a toddler pulling myself up the iron bed frame early one morning trying to touch the light coming in the window. Still today, there is something magical about a light.  Shining a spotlight into the night sky, watching the flickering light of a camp fire or leaning my head out the car window to catch the sun always bring a smile to my face.

Perhaps I smile at light not just because of its beauty or warmth, but because I have always associated light with God. The Scriptures certainly bear this association out. In the Old Testament we often see light represented as the power and majesty of God. The third verse of the first book of the Bible makes it clear God created the light and it was good and only after the light came living things. There are numerous passages throughout the Old Testament linking the miracles, magesty and presence of God to light. Stories of Moses and Joshua immediately come to mind.

In the New Testament, we see the light of Jesus associated with the uplifting and redemptive quality of God. Paul asks us as believers in Romans to “put on the armor of light” and in Ephesians to “walk as children of the light.” In the book of John, Jesus says ” I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Scientifically we measure light or luminousity in units called lumen, the Latin word for light. A lumen is the “total amount of visible light emitted by a source,” such as a lightbulb. But, as it turns out, the term lumen also has another meaning. In the biological world, a lumen is the open space in the center of a tubelike structure. The central cavity or hole of a vein, artery or intestine is a lumen.

To me, the lumen is splendid metaphor for the light of God in our lives.  The empty space in our souls is meant to be filled with the light of God. When we begin to allow God into our lives, we are accepting light into our soul. As our relationship with God through Jesus develops, the light intensifies pushing darkness out of our lives. As importantly, we in turn begin to re-emit this Godly or Christian light, shining its positive warmth on those around us. We may not be able to scientifically measure our spiritual luminosity but we can tell the light of God is working through us when we see those around us smile when our Godly lumen hits their faces.