There’s something almost religious about cars that draws people together. Yesterday at the Gilmore Car Museum I finally found words to express it, which I did to the next poor, unsuspecting car enthusiast I saw!
If you’ve been to a car show, then you know motorists there are storytellers! It may be how they acquired the vehicle, who first owned the vehicle, what things were like when the car was in its prime, or previous shows the vehicle has been to.
At Motor Muster (Greenfield Village) years ago, I met a gentleman who explained his classic car was exactly how it had been when it came off the production line, right down to the heads of the screws facing the right directions.
Have you ever thought about how many people are involved in a car coming off the production line?
There are teams of engineers and designers, people in lubrication and suspension, and don’t forget powertrain. Companies have leaders who make decisions about what happens next, what ideas go out the window, and which businesses to buy parts from. There are those who prepare the tests and run the tests to make sure parts function the way they should. There are those who check how the vehicle crushes in a crash and how to keep the passengers safe. There are test drivers. There are those at plants, like spot welders who are assembling specific auto body parts. There are those who manage people and teams at the plants. There are those who advertise the vehicle. Researchers figured out what people in the market would want. Countless more are involved. There are different roles, but one goal.
All of those people are working on one car. Just one car, but that car is multiplied. There are so many pieces to the puzzle which make it a unit.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” I Corinthians 12:12 NIV
The car itself has so many parts, but it is just one car.
If the exhaust pipe muttered, “Because I’m not the flywheel, I do not belong to the car,” it wouldn’t, for that reason, quit being a part of the vehicle. Oh, and if the rearview mirror said, “Because I’m not a brake, I do not belong to the car,” it wouldn’t, for that reason, stop being part of the vehicle. If the whole thing were a transmission, where would the body be? The car is assembled the way the engineers, designers, and team planned it to be.
The engine can’t say to the tires, “I don’t need you!” The steering wheel can’t say to the axle, “I don’t need you!” Nope, and those little things, like bolts, are indispensable. Some elements, like oil are treated with special honor, being given a time it needs to be changed. Some aspects, like the lock mechanism are modestly hidden. The paint job doesn’t need that kind of special treatment. All the parts should work together and have concern for each other. If one part is in a crash, the whole thing suffers with it. If one part is praised, the whole car can celebrate.
When a classic car is renewed, there’s that celebration, too! Vehicles are pieces of history, often very personal ones, which let stories be told.
I think that’s why people are drawn to cars. We see what has been, could be, and what is right now. It’s almost sacred because it has withstood time by the hands and hearts of many.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (I Corinthians 12:27)
We all have a role to fulfill in God’s design. Teamwork brings cars off the assembly line. Teamwork and willingness to write a shared story can revive cars. Oneness in and through Christ brings fulfillment as each of us completes our part.
Paul wrote of the body of Christ, each part functioning. I Corinthians 12:18-20 (NIV) “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
Some cars are in junk yards because the parts were beyond what the owner could repair. A well cared for car, even if it is over 100 years old, can continue serving its purpose as all the parts work together.
Romans 12:3-8 also tells us that we need each other and have a part in this one body.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
There unity in the team that plans and creates the car. The vehicle is driven when its parts function in unity. When time and travel wear on the vehicle, there’s a unified purpose that brings people together repairing and restoring it. There is one goal, a running car that gets the attention of someone who says, “Tell me the story.” Believers, let’s live like that!
Dear Father, thank You for your design. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Your Church, Your people. I recognize I have work to do, which I cannot do alone. Please guide us so we can fulfill the calling You have placed on us to Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
When have you been tempted to think your role in the Body was insignificant? Who helped you realize your role is necessary?
We’ve all seen, heard, and perhaps even felt, a car that had issues. How can we help others be whole and “running on all cylinders”?
In your community of believers, where does God want to make you more whole?
Take a look at all of I Corinthians 12 for more on the roles people have in the Body of Christ. This devotional is also based on Romans 12.