It was in Gators twenties when he found an apartment that fitted his mood. Recently discharged from the military, Gator was going to art school. The apartment fit the inherited car from his Grandfather, an old, square shaped Buick sedan. It wasn’t Gator’s last car, the British Racing Green MGA with the real knock-off spoke wheels and Pirelli Cinturados and the Derrington wood rim steering wheel. No, It was the car of his discarded Grandfather, now passed down to Jack. Discarded because the once strong fireman was not useful anymore.
Grandpa had killed Gators cat when Jack was young, just because it deserved to be discarded in Gramps opinion. It felt sort of right too that Gator’s family sold his precious MGA when the draft came in with a whirlwind of death harvest for Vietnam. Jack signed on first before he went west to the jungles. He went east to the Mediterranean sea instead. So Jack sold the Buick right away, traded it actually for an Austin Healy Sprite. Felt good to be in a roadster again. Made up a bit for the Green MGA and the cat. Gramps deserved to be discarded after all.
Jacks apartment was a dump. Second floor above a Sherman Williams paint store on the wrong side of the tracks. Corner store, separate entrance. Jack had a neighbor who was down and out and bummed smokes from Jack. When Jack would ask him how things were going, the neighbor always said: “just take me to the dump” It seems that the latest attitude we all have. “It’s at the end of it’s service life” or “that old thing? Too expensive to fix, toss it” “ You’re what! Pregnant! Git rid of it, You’ve got your whole life ahead of you!” and our favorite: “Heck, he’s over 80. Forget that cornea transplant. I mean really, how many years does he have left anyway?” “Put her in a home, she won’t notice anyway” And so forth.
Feeling useless because the popular philosophy now is Existential in nature. One man in particular, a philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, went insane in the most beautiful country in the world, Switzerland. He came to the point of knowing the tension and despair for the loss of meaning in his life because of the loss of a personal God. His words are profound: “ But all pleasure seeks eternity-a deep and profound eternity”.
Our country has found itself discarding our God of Creation perhaps because He is inconvenient and is sort of a kill joy because of all those rules he has. “I can’t follow all those rules in the Bible!” Of course we can’t, that’s the point of the rules. We need Him.
So we discard what we feel and know is not worthwhile to us. An old car, out of date food and personal relationships that are used up and don’t make us feel the way we want to. Or the way we feel we are entitled to perhaps. We have so much ‘stuff ‘ that it gets in our way when we don’t like it or need it. Broken things, old things past their expiration dates. Things that we don’t even remember acquiring. And so it goes on and on until it becomes easier to discard than repair. “That car, it was getting old and anyway, I was tired of driving it” How much different is it when it comes to this? “He was getting on my nerves. All this talk about going to a church marriage counselor! It was his fault, so I divorced him”
It seems prudent to us to just put it in a blue plastic container and park it down by the end of the driveway every Tuesday. ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! Throw out the tub too!’ I can do what I want, that’s what the world says. Another philosopher, De Sade put it well: “If there is no standard, no real moral base, then that old woman walking down the road can either be helped or run over. No difference if there are no moral standards” (set by an eternal infinite loving God who knows us and desires us to love him with the passion he loves us with.)
So, it’s our choices, the small ones that make a great impact on everyone. Should I discard this friend? This inconvenient baby? This old fashioned religious teaching? This God who never did anything I asked Him to do!
Always, always our choice to build, repair, embrace and seek truth in the eyes of the Man who is more alive than any man who ever lived. Jesus, the master repairman of old and stressed lives. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator