From the mundane to the sacred

My first car was a used, but nearly-in-perfect-condition, 1954 Ford. At least a couple of times a week, someone would offer to buy it. To this day, I still judge other cars by what I thought of that one. So you can imagine what I was thinking when I saw a restored'54 Ford the other day. No, I didn't make an offer, but it was tempting.

I realized, however, it wasn't the car itself that was so interesting. Instead, there's something appealing about seeing anything broken and nearly abandoned, restored. Now, it might seem strange, even trivial, to connect the restoration of a car with spiritual regeneration, but regeneration is what I thought of. And if Christ Jesus could liken a lost and broken soul to a single sheep for which a shepherd would leave his flock and search until that lone sheep was recovered, then I suppose we can find metaphors for spiritual experience wherever they occur—in the mundane details of daily life or in the most sacred of happenings.

In a culture where planned obsolescence seems to pace many of the values by which we live, we need symbols and lessons that can serve as reminders of our own never-dying capacity to find divine Life and Love anew. While I don't think'54 Fords can serve as too strong a symbol for spiritual renewal, there are daily experiences which can become powerful symbols and which can open floodgates of spiritual hunger and fulfillment. We can pray for spiritual regeneration, and the deep longing to know ourselves as God's offspring will be satisfied.

A diligent search and a clean sweep
March 7, 1988

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