The Car

by | May 21, 2006 | Control, Submission

If I hadn’t been looking right at it, I might have missed it. That was the way with these Canadian prairies: seemingly endless miles of prairie grasses, laced with numerous cuts and coulees that are only visible when stumbled upon. But there it was, in a tiny coulee near our camp in Drumheller, Alberta. A car.

Or what remained of one. Perhaps a more accurate description would be to say it was the metal frame of a car. Even then, rust and weathering had so taken their toll that even this was hard to recognize, and what remained of the original frame was full of little round holes. Bullet holes? I moved in closer to investigate. Yes! The frame was literally full of them.

“How long have you been here?” I mumbled. But judging from the style of what was left of the frame, the car couldn’t have been more then 10 or 15 years old. Many cars of this particular make and model were still on the road. It had been considered a luxury car in its day, and yet here it sat, in a Canadian coulee, stripped of its engine systems, its wheels, its upholstery, even its outer coverings and paint. And as if that weren’t enough, someone obviously thought it made the perfect object for target practice!

For reasons I didn’t immediately understand, I was drawn to this bullet-ridden piece of junk, and I found myself mumbling again: “How did this happen? Where is the family who once owned you, once painstakingly wiped away even the tiniest speck of dust from your paint? How did you fall so far from what you were made to be? Where did it all go wrong?”

Then it was as if that poor car changed into a life, a human life. Before my eyes I saw a beautiful young girl slip into the clutches of prostitution. I saw a middle-aged man with a handsome family walk away to slide into a vomit-filled gutter, his only companion a bottle of booze. I saw a young, rich executive overdosing on prescription medication, his only hope being the tiny break from the loneliness, the despair, the fear, the pain. And I found myself mumbling another time: “How did you slip so far from what God created you to be? Where did you go wrong?”

I already knew the answer. The lives I could now see in my mind’s eye were simply victims. While God never created us to be trapped in the life of drugs or prostitution or alcohol, the Bible tells us there is one who loves nothing better then to strip us of our identity, to peel away our dignity, to rip out our happiness. And when there’s nothing left of us but a pile of rusted metal, then he takes out his shot gun and figuratively uses us for target practice. He is referred to as “the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy . . .” (John 10:10) In another passage the devil is described as: “a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44-45)

Friends, if it were left up to the devil, everyone would be just like that poor car, lying in that prairie coulee, abandoned, stripped of everything, full of bullet holes. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way out! His name is Jesus. Let’s look at the rest of John 10: “Therefore Jesus said again, ‘I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep . . . Whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture . . . I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:7-10)

Where the devil wants to kill and steal and destroy, Jesus wants to give us the fullest life possible. But how can we get away from this “father of lies” so that we can live our lives to the fullest? The answer is found in Gal 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

It is our choice! If we choose to accept Jesus, we will not be burdened by the yoke of slavery that the devil wants to ensnare us with. But if we choose to reject Jesus, then the devil can have free reign in our lives, and before long, the beautiful, productive, purposeful lives God meant for us are reduced to piles of rusted metal, stripped of all identity, full of bullet holes.

So what will it be? Will you drive the streets with pride by letting Jesus be in control of your lives? Or will you, by rejecting Jesus, sit in a prairie coulee, forgotten and rejected, open to the ruin that the devil has in store for you?

The choice, friends, is yours!

Lyn Chaffart


The Car