This last week I made a large purchase (literally) few people will understand, and even fewer will be excited about. I bought a 51 year old front bench seat for my 1968 Mustang GT/CS (California Special). At some point in the past the original bench seat was replaced by bucket seats. Since I bought my ’68 Mustang, part of my vision for the car has been to return it to having a bench seat. Having the internet as a tool, I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a ’68 bench seat. I obviously didn’t know how hard it would be to make this vision happen!
For two years I have been searching for the correct bench seat. I could find bench seats for ’65 and ’66 Mustangs, but a ’68 bench seat was elusive. The man at a large Mustang parts warehouse in Georgia told me a couple of days ago that this seat is “super rare”. He said if I find one, I should go buy a lottery ticket the same day. When I laughed, he responded he was serious. When I looked at the manufacturing numbers, I could see why they are hard to find. Out of 317,404 Mustangs built in 1968, 8,301 had bench seats (2.6%). In 1968 there were 4,118 California Specials built, with 93 of them having bench seats (2.3%). The parts man said that back in the 1980’s he sold a lot of bucket seats, with many of the bench seats ending up in landfills. I was hesitant to buy the ’68 bench seat I found because I thought they were asking too much for it. After talking to the parts man, I hurried and bought it!
Buying the bench seat is only part of the cost. Once I receive the seat, I will have to get it reupholstered. Right now, it is all torn up. It is fair to say that the seat currently looks pretty unimpressive! Even when the seat is finished and installed, I’m not expecting many people to notice it. For me, though, it is important to restore this part of the “character” of my Mustang. I guess my uniqueness is impacting the uniqueness of my Mustang!
Part of the theme for Annual Conference is “Called Anew”. I wonder what vision God has for each of us. Do we ever get so settled into our way of being that we quit listening for God’s vision for our lives? I believe that God is constantly helping us to discover new aspects of who we are, making it possible to reach more of God’s vision. This vision is rarely simple or easy to achieve. It is common for there to be a cost involved.
Being “Called Anew” doesn’t just apply to us as individual Christians, but also when we gather together as the church. There is a blessing involved as we get to listen for God’s voice together. I’m suspicious that it’s not possible for us to hear the broadness of God’s voice alone. We need one another. I believe it’s in the midst of God’s created diversity that we have the best chance of hearing the full story of what God is saying to us. Wouldn’t it be ironic if our desire for uniformity is what keeps us from fully hearing God?
I’m convinced that God isn’t finished with us yet. Throughout our lives God calls us forward into new relationships, possibilities, and realities. It’s awe-inspiring to think that out of the estimated 108 billion people who have ever lived, each of us are unique. If God made each of us different, doesn’t it make sense that God has a different vision for each of us? Are we faithfully following where God is leading us?
Your brother on the journey, Mark