News report: Today the firm of God and (fill in your last name), Restorers Extraordinaire, went to work. It was on a magnificent project destined to become a classic. It was a human being, model 1964, convertible, made originally in the image of God but weathered through the years. The model had clearly spent too many winters in the snow and not enough in the heated garage. Rust showed in various places and there was a loud rattle coming from several areas of the frame. The head lamps were dull and the top was missing a lot of fabric, especially in the front. Creaks and groans were coming from the interior, which was faded and stretched a little thin. It was the original engine, the serial numbers checked out, but it was not putting out the horsepower it was rated as being capable of. Spark plugs were in need of a change and the timing was clearly off. The model was not firing on all cylinders. Someone had added to the frame, creating a model too heavy for the worn treads on bottom.
But Restorers Extraordinaire live for restoration. Always seeing the gleam and glow in the most neglected specimens, they delight in bringing classics to life. This current project, made in 1964, was no exception. They didn't overlook it the way too many passersby did. They realized this was something of value the moment they saw it. They could almost hear the cry of earlier models, "Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old," Lamentations 5:21, the Bible.
And so they set to work. It was not an overnight project, but restorers are patient. Rust cannot simply be painted over, especially if it runs deep. Loud ticking noises suggest several possibilities that all need to be checked out.
Restorers Extraordinaire did what needed to be done at the moment and with the only time available for this new work. They offered an encouraging word, along with a genuine smile - Restorers Extraordinaire use only the finest parts - and then they listened. They listened carefully. For one moment in time the only important task at hand was to pay full attention to a weathered classic.
A spokesperson for the firm later told us the listening was the most important part. They, as a company, are not primarily interested in the cosmetic details. The fabric on top might never be replaced and they offered no guaranties that they would take drastic steps to remove the extra pounds. But they knew the interior could be restored even better than the day it was made. They knew the engine could sing again with a note that would make the heart race. And they were completely confident in their Boss.
This is clearly one company that has never forgotten their mission statement. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." II Corinthians 4:16, the Bible.
Rick Cupp is a minister at Kenai Fellowship.