The New Mustang

I just bought one of my dream vehicles: a 1968 Mustang. Okay, it’s not fully one of my dream vehicles, but it is close.

I have always loved Mustangs. My little brother, Tim, was almost born in one as our neighbor drove my mom to the hospital in his ’67 fastback. All I can remember thinking is, “She better not mess up this car. It’s too nice to get messy…” Even at an early age I was a man of great compassion.

Then I saw the movie “Bullit.” Steve McQueen drove a ’68 fastback, dark green, Torq-Thrust wheels, big block V-8. I was in love, or at least seriously in lust. Bullit’s green Mustang is my dream car.

Over the years I have owned an assortment of cool cars. I have had five different classic Mercury Cougars, a ’67 Lincoln Continental, a ’68 Buick Riviera, and a ’65 Ford Econoline pickup. I still own a 1949 Dodge Coronet that I bought as a project, it’s still a project and now is for sale (drop me a line, I’ll make you a killer deal!). I liked each of those cars for different reasons, but none of them were my Mustang fastback.

The Mustang I bought is close to the Bullit, but not really. It isn’t a fastback, it’s a hardtop. It isn’t dark green, it is racing orange with black racing stripes. It isn’t even a V-8, it’s a straight six. The guy who owned it before had a serious obsession with pop rivets, they are all over the car. He added some kind of weird, homemade ground effects for the rear valance and he was only so-so with the spray can that he used all throughout the interior. He heated the front springs to lower the car, which also lets you fully, and I mean fully, experience each rut in the road. I ran over a ladybug this morning on the way to work and the front end bottomed out. It’s definitely not the Bullit Mustang of my dreams…

But I love it.

It’s not perfect. It has some dings and dents. It runs great, but it’s a little loud, and the back window on the driver’s side doesn’t roll up.

But I love it.

How on earth can I love a car that is so far from what I want it to be? What makes me look at this car full of imperfections and still be so glad that it is mine? I don’t know, I can’t explain it, and I don’t even want to try. I just know that it is my Mustang, and I love it.

I have often wondered how God could look at me and love me. I know it will come as a shock to all of you, and it may disappoint you, but I am not perfect. I’ll wait a second and let you get past the shock of that statement. It’s okay, your faith in humanity need not be shaken by that revelation. Okay, I’m sure that didn’t come as a shock to any of you, especially those of you who know me or have met me! I have bum knees, I get mad too often, I can be gruff, and sometimes I am so caught up in what I want that I forget to think about what God wants.

But did you know that even in my imperfection God still loves me? He has always loved me. Paul wrote to the Roman church, “God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him” (Romans 5:8 The Message). Long before I was born, God loved me. While I was still rebellious and doing my own thing, God loved me. Today, when I make mistakes, God loves me. His love for me is not based on my perfection, it is based on His. God loves me despite the fact that I am not fully the person He wants me to be.

I’m going to keep on working on my Mustang, and God is going to keep working on me. Maybe eventually we’ll both be perfect.

Enjoying my new car and life… Jerry

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