Who do you call on when nothing else will help? Jason Helveston watches a story unfold before his eyes and gains insights.
Sitting outside a coffee shop, right next to an increasingly busy street, I was enjoying one of those moments. You know, one of those moments when you’ve accomplished goals for the day and there are still a few moments left before quitting time? Yes. I know. These moments are rare. And let’s be honest. Quitting time is a subjective concept in many contemporary lines of work. Nevertheless I had some time to get ahead. And in my world that means reading. So I pulled out one of my favorites and reconsidered a few chapters I had read many times before. As traffic continued to build, so did my gratefulness that I wasn’t in it.
A few moments of bliss passed and my attention was diverted. The robber of my thoughts was a pristine crimson Porsche 911 Turbo. It’s engine revved as it took the lead position at a red light. I was not alone in my gawking. Other coffee shop patrons and pedestrians alike were taking in the glory of this divine machinery. It was one of those moments that makes you proud to be an American. Or is that German? People were nearly running into each other amazed by the sight and sounds of automotive majesty. The driver revved the engine again to the adulation of adoring fans. And even though everything I know about cars I learned from a certain Disney movie…I was impressed too.
This Porsche made me think about God. What’s more, the collective amazement and appreciation made me think about people’s receptivity of the divine and God himself. To be sure the majesty and glory and impressive nature of God is something which has grabbed my life-long attention. But it often seems that such a perspective is in the minority today. More and more I want people to see what I see, appreciate what I appreciate, and be in awe like I am. Alas such praise and adulation is inconceivable if not foolish to many modern minds and hearts.
Has something else stolen attention?
Why don’t more see it the way I do?
Am I seeing things correctly?
Another chest-vibrating flex from the apparently less-than-bashful driver and then…the unimaginable. With the charmed crowd at full tilt, the Porsche died. Did you hear that? The Porsche…died. (Awkward!) Over and over again the deflated ego of the owner attempted to resuscitate the beast. Key turn, after key turn. Nothing. Crimson and beautiful, the car lay dormant at the front of a row of traffic.
Then…the light turned green.
Now I think most people are fairly civilized. I really believe that. But you put the most charming, quilt-knitting grandmother in a traffic jam while she’s on her way home after a long day’s work? We’ve got trouble. Right here in River City. Other cars started honking. Shaking fists reached out of driver-side windows. A two-lane route home had become one. Each car passed with equal discontent and confusion. The motionless masterpiece which had moments ago been the source of an intersection’s collective joy and amazement, had now become nothing more than an irritating roadblock.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
God is the crimson Porsche. To some he is a life-giving, impressive, and inspiring source of joy and amazement. To others however even the concept of God is an irritating roadblock and a universal nuisance. So then…is accepting and appreciating God all a matter of timing? Perspective? Upbringing? Or…have we missed God entirely.
Quickly it became clear this car wasn’t going anywhere. No amount of turning that beautiful key, in that beautiful ignition, was going to get that beautiful car moving. The driver’s prize possession needed a tow. So naturally he popped out of the car, threw his hands in the air, and started yelling at the honking Honda Civic behind him. Nice touch. I smiled and shook my head slightly. He pulled out his phone, put it to his ear, and (I imagine) called a tow truck.
It was about then that it was time for me to leave. My perfectly running Jeep Patriot had just arrived to pick me up. As I walked away from that moment I pictured what I was certain would soon be the scene at this intersection–a beautifully dead Porsche 911 Turbo up on the bed of a tow truck. Somehow amazing, yet obviously broken. And I thought to myself…now that is God. Not the Porsche, but the tow truck.
You see what I’ve discover in my life, in moments like this one is that God is the one who comes towards us as others move away. He is the one that braves the storm of honking horns and misconceptions. He is the one you call when nothing else can help. He is the one who thinks you’re still beautiful and worthy of his attention even when you’re broken down and annoying everybody else. Now that’s the God I want the world to see. That’s the God I want to experience. That’s the God worthy of attention.
Photo: thedalogs / flickr