Age, mileage, wear and tear.
Not long ago I went through what I perceive as one of those man things. There was this overwhelming desire for a new car. So, one day I took my old 2005 SUV by a local dealer to get the lowdown on a purchase or trade. He looked it over, gave the interior a scan, sat in the driver's seat, briefly looked at a car appraisal book, and gave me a piece of paper with the expected trade allowance. It was a pleasant surprise, what he could offer me in exchange for a new model. When I questioned him about it he told me that his evaluation was based more on the mileage and wear and tear than the car's age. My old hunk registered only 120,000 miles rather than the 225,000 average for a car that old. It was a reminder that life is like driving a car. Age isn't the deciding factor about the measure of life. How we weather our road time is more the deal.
Of course, the realities of life this side of heaven are among the mysteries of living in a broken world. We can only imagine what God had created for Adam and Eve, the glories of perfection. Human age, mileage, and wear and tear aren't so much about birth and death dates as how we are personally prepared to meet the demands of real time. This reminder flashed a couple truths across my screen---
1. Life is a precious gift.
King David wrote about the blessings and trials of life. Among his many Psalms he expressed deep inspiration about the precious gift of life. One strikes me today---
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139: 13-16, ESV
As God's gift life should be lived expectantly, obediently, and purposefully.
2. Life is not a stroll in the park.
It was another notable theme of the Psalms, King David's confession of and experience with harsh and troubling times. The truth is that life in this broken world is sinful and hazardous. Age, mileage, and wear and tear are among the few realities common to our life experience regardless of our placement or personal circumstances. Psalm 90: 10 is one reflection of King David's heart in this truth---
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Life is fast, complex, and can be lived abundantly. Still, we humans are challenged by pitfalls and obstacles.
3. God's promises are a faithful guide to the journey.
Over and over Scripture reminds us of God's blessed provision for his people. Several verses give me constant hope in trying times---
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29: 11, ESV
By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
2 Peter 1: 4, ESV
Comparison of life to a car isn't really a great analogy. Lately, however, with Covid 19 and a recent infection I am more aware of the uncertainties of life under heaven and the profound truth of his presence, provision, and guidance for life. Is it a walk in the park? Not always. But, he promises blessed peace and hope regardless of age, mileage, or wear and tear. The Apostle Paul expressed it in this prayerful thought to the Romans---
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15: 13, ESV