Tonight we experienced the sad moment watching our Dodge Grand Caravan drive away. We sold it for 500.00 to someone who will likely put a new used engine in it and get some more life out of it. Two weeks ago we heard a loud noise from the engine and upon investigation we were quoted a large price to replace the engine. That was more than we wanted to spend. Fortunately, we got a good deal on another used vehicle (thanks mom and dad).
But isn’t it funny how “things” can form memories? I had already thought of it. We formed family memories with that van. We moved up from Cincinnati with the van. We moved again, just a few months later. We put the seats down and we could get a lot in there. Actually, in 2012 we moved a whole couch with the van. But who cares about those memories. What about bringing Mercedes home after she was born? What about getting her up early Christmas morning to travel to Dayton? I remember her cute 16 month old giggle as we put her in her car seat and she saw the dog next to her. I remember a trip to a conference in October 2012 when I was so annoyed with Elmo and Sesame Street teaching her to count on the van DVD player. Oh, I can go back further, Mercedes was about three weeks old and colicky. We couldn’t get her to stop crying. We buckled her in her car seat and then in the van and went for a drive. She fell asleep, until we got home and the dogs greeted us, LOUDLY.
(By the way, I know those memories are only Mercedes. You would think we have one child, but we actually have two. The weather was bad and we brought Abigail home after she was born in the Expedition. When we purchased the Expedition the van began sharing time more. Many of our family trips were with the Expedition because of various reasons.)
Anyways, tonight we watched the van drive away. I knew what it meant. But what about dear 4 and 1/2 year old Mercedes? I came inside as Mercedes was asking Meagan about the van and she had red eyes, like she was going to cry. I heard her say to Meagan, “You mean we won’t get it back?” We explained to her that it was going to have a new home and how things eventually break down. She was fine in a few moments and back to herself climbing up the walls, singing Frozen songs, etc.
But, what a reminder. What a teaching opportunity. In a counseling class in seminary I read that when we were an agricultural society kids learned death because they saw it in the livestock. But how do they learn death today? I am not beginning to compare our van to Sally the cow being slaughtered, but it is something. I think there are at least two lessons:
1) Things break and our treasure cannot be in them. Jesus said this:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
2) Things will break, sadly, people will also die. But we can have eternal life in Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
See also Rev. 21