Everyday monuments: Old Mustangs and ‘Ebenezers’


The race is on!

Since we purchased a 1988 Ford Mustang (which we lovingly refer to as Miss Betty Blue), we have been slowly replacing components as time and money allow.

Over the course of the last 10 months, we have replaced the seat belts, the entire headlight and taillight assemblies and the seals on most of the windows. We have repaired a broken turn signal and the hatch for the hatchback. And with the help of a mechanical engineer from the church, we replaced the brake and wheel assemblies for the front of the car. It is clear that this race is a marathon, not a sprint.

Most of the repairs have been determined by necessity and the work completed by my son with the assistance of various gatherings of teenage boys with naught but a great love of cars and advanced understanding of the wonderful world of YouTube. This weekend, however, I was privileged to assist with the replacement of the water pump and radiator.

Over the course of the weekend, we made more trips to auto parts and hardware stores than I can count. In fact, in one day, we visited every auto parts store in Seymour and ended up getting a part from a store in a neighboring town. Our garage reveals the truth of our activities with a collection of boxes, broken parts and a scattering of tools I couldn’t have named just a few days earlier.

I was well outside of my comfort zone, but it was an absolute privilege to spend so many hours with my boy either in my truck or shoulders deep in the engine bay of his car. I loved every minute of it and will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. I bought the car hoping to create moments just like these.

After several days of work, the finish line for this particular project is finally in view. As we stood back looking at our handiwork, my son made a profound statement. He said, “I’m never gonna sell this car… Not because of the money we’re putting in it but because of all of the memories.”

He went on to explain how much fun it has been to work on the car with friends (and his dad) and how it has provided him opportunities to problem solve and work through difficult situations. Where most people see an old, beat-up car, my son sees a monument.

The Bible, the Old Testament in particular, contains numerous instances where the people of God created simple monuments to remind them of past trials and triumphs.

When they crossed the Jordan River, they piled up 12 stones as a monument to God’s deliverance (Joshua 4:1-7). After Jacob spent the night wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, he turned a stone on its end as a monument to God’s presence and promise to bless him (Genesis 18:10-22). And when the prophet Samuel had a major victory against the Philistines, he set up a stone and called it “Ebenezer,” which means, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).

I hope my son’s Mustang serves in much the same way in his life. I hope it serves as a reminder that he is loved and that God has surrounded him with good people to whom he can turn when he’s struggling. I hope it reminds him that trials and tribulations aren’t forever and that if he keeps his head and uses the gifts God provides, he can push through anything. And I pray that it serves as a reminder that his father, both his earthly and heavenly, loves him, wants what’s best for him and will go to great lengths to provide him with what he needs. It’s not just a car. It’s a monument, an Ebenezer.

What are the Ebenezers in your life? What are the places and things you can look upon with fondness and be reminded of the faithfulness of God and the good and loving people he has placed in your life?

Life, much like the restoration of a car, is a marathon. It is a long road, and it’s helpful to have some mile markers along the way that can provide hope and can encourage you to keep grinding. Even if it’s something as simple as a beat-up old car.

The Rev. Jeremy Myers is the lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Seymour. Read his blog at jeremysmyers.com. Send comments to [email protected].

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