When I came into the office this morning, I mentioned to Linda (our office manager) that if she saw Bob (our maintenance guy), to let him know that I had brought the item from home that he asked for. She told me that Bob was out obtaining bulbs and that when he got back he would be climbing onto the roof to replace some that light up our steeple.
I jokingly told her that if I had known that, I had a safety belt and climbing spurs, and could have brought them for Bob to use. She asked me how it was I had those items, then said something to the effect that she didn’t want to know. I told her I really didn’t want to think about why I have them, either.
Then, in briefly checking my Facebook page, I noticed a post by a friend from the “good old days” when we were kids, reminiscing about some ice tongs he had and the old ice house in our hometown where one could get blocks of ice…for cooling, refrigeration, or whatever. I well remember that ice house, as we went there from time to time for a block to make homemade ice cream.
All of that, then, got me to thinking about other things I had or knew about that were old and probably past any usefulness, at least to me. One of the more unique things I have is an air pump powered by the cylinder compression of an engine. You screw the pump into the hole where the spark plug would normally go (it has different sizes of thread adapters). Most engines will run OK even if a cylinder is missing. Then you attach the hose to a tire and air up the tire using engine compression to power the little pump.
I’ve actually seen this in operation. We had an old John Deere “Johnny-pop” tractor we’d fire up from time to time. One day we needed it for something. It hadn’t been run for a long while. One of the rear tires was flat. We used this pump to air up the tire; Dad managed to start the tractor (hand-start by turning the flywheel manually…not electric start) with just one working cylinder (Johnny-pops only had two cylinders). Dad always carried this pump with him in his pickup throughout his lifetime “just in case”.
I have, as many do, other memories in tangible form…things that have outlived any real usefulness, but nevertheless have value in the form of memories and stories. And these things are items that we wouldn’t willingly part with for any amount of money because of their value to us.
We also have items that are a little less tangible that we should also hold dear to ourselves. Friends, family, blessings of life, and relationships all should hold great importance to us. You can surely think of others. These things are like gifts to us in a way…we didn’t earn them, and we are usually much better off because of them.
The greatest gift, however, is the incomparable grace of Almighty God and His passionate love for His creation. That redemptive love, manifested in Jesus Christ, has opened the door for the creation (of which we are part) to experience the perfection and absolute glory of the One who made it all. And that, friend, is neither old-fashioned nor has that message outlived its usefulness. Unlike the spark plug air pump or ice tongs, that message and the redemptive plan of the Almighty Lord are forever relevant, forever useful, forever needed.