February 2008Dear Friends,
A few months ago I went looking to buy a car. I had been driving my little Metro for 6 years but she had now become unreliable and I had been towed twice in as many weeks! So the time had come for me to find a replacement for my poor old car or 'Bessie', as she was known to me.
And so I went to various garages looking at cars - not that I know anything about cars except they get you from A to B - with the help of a breakdown truck in my recent trips with poor old Bessie!
After looking at a few cars I finally plucked up courage to ask a sales man if I could try out one of the cars he had on his forecourt. I was quite nervous about taking a different or strange car for a test drive on my own so I asked the sales man if he would come with me. The sales man agreed and he obligingly got the car keys and then sat in the passenger seat next to me while I adjusted my car seat and mirrors. But there was one other thing I needed to ask.
So I turned to the sales man and said, "Now before we set off, I just want you to show me where a few of the controls are."
"No problem" the sales man replied, "Which controls do you want to know?"
"Just the horn and the hazard warning lights" I said.
The car sales man looked slightly flustered at my reply. He shuffled in his seat and said "Well, if that's all you want to know - I'll find someone else to take you on a test drive!"
However despite this shaky start - you'll be reassured to know that the test drive went well and I didn't need to use the horn or the hazard warning lights!
I was later telling a friend that I was looking to buy another car and he made some disparaging comments about Bessie, and concluded by saying “Well if you've been driving a Metro all this time - then you are hardly looking for a status symbol are you?”
Do you know - those words really stuck in my mind. He was right. I wasn't looking for a car as a status symbol. Because you see the only status symbol I need is the cross of Jesus. I know who I am and what I am because of Jesus. I know my status - I am a sinner in need of a saviour. My status or standing before God has all been achieved and accomplished for me and has been given to me by Jesus through the cross. I know that I am forgiven, loved and accepted by the grace of God.
So what about you? Do you have a status symbol? What symbolises your status or standing in life and in death? Perhaps it is a car or a house. Or maybe it is the empty cross of Jesus.
P.S. I did eventually buy a car and Bonnie is settling in just fine!
In the cross of Christ I glory
Towering o'er the wrecks of time,
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
(Hymns and Psalms 167)