It’s an old truck that has been in the family for over fifteen years now, passed down through the hands of a father to his son, to his daughter, to her son, and then to another one of her sons. Four generations of a family have sat behind the wheel of this ’93 Chevy pick-up truck.
The world would level its worth as little more than scrap metal—old and washed up and one step away from a junk yard’s grave. But to my family, well, we level its worth a bit higher. Not because of its beauty, but rather because of its bloodlines. This truck originated with my Grandpa Al. He would only drive it a year before he passed away. My father then took ownership of it for several years until my eldest son was eligible to drive.
It seemed reasonable that he be allowed this “junker” to serve as his training ground for better things … better rides down the road. It did and has now been passed onto his younger brother who has given our treasured piece of family history a good and steady workout. Through all generations, the truck has been faithful to render its services whenever and wherever needed.
So what does one do with this faithful servant who’s been…
taken for granted,
looked upon with little regard,
until finally an accident causes its bumper to be pried away from the frame? What does one do with a fifteen year old vehicle that’s logged in over 100,000 miles, whose air-condition no longer works, and who hardly seems worthy of an expensive repair?
What do you do with an old faithful truck that’s in need of some servicing, even though the bank account dictates otherwise? I’ll tell you what you do.
You press it into an old faithful tree—one that can absorb the shock and that can realign the bumper back alongside its original frame.
It may not be picture perfect, but the tree coupled with the willing obedience to “press in”, yields a drivable vehicle that will service this family for a season longer, perhaps even a generation somewhere down the road.
As it is with our truck, so it is with me; perhaps, even with you.
What do we do when our frames begin to show the weary of a hard drive? A regular neglect? A taking for granted? A little regard for our necessary when so much more is needed?
What do we do when an accident pries our hearts away from the original frame—the Author of our frames? How do we respond when we know that a heart’s servicing is necessary, but when the bank account levels empty and incapable of such a transaction?
I tell you what I did.
I pressed into an old faithful tree—one that absorbed the shock on my behalf over 2000 years ago and Who is more than capable of my realignment every time that I am willing press into a necessary obedience.
It may not yield a full perfection at this time. But it’s coming. If not here, then there. And the time lived in between the two—my now and my next—I’m pressing in and I’m pressing on to take hold of everything for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of me. I am not sure what my “everything” looks like; in fact, I am fairly confident that God means for much of it to remain veiled. Why?
Because that which remains unseen is that which grows my faith.
When I cannot see beyond the fog that surrounds me, tree pressing becomes my required necessary. When my plans cannot be managed or manipulated by my well-intentioned will, God presses the issue by urging me toward an intentional pause and by asking me to trust him with a fast from the world’s noisy insistence.
There is strength to found in the silence, my friends. Deeply rooted strength that comes with spending time at the foot of God’s tree. I’ve found his strength again this past week, as I have waited before him in silence. It’s never been absent or unavailable to me. But I have been.
Absent and unavailable.
In part, because my priorities have been derailed. But mostly, in part, because I have traded in the sweet sound of his voice for the resounding gongs and clanging cymbals of the world’s shout.
It sometimes takes a fast to recognize the difference. And by pressing into God’s tree this week, I have witnessed the profound extreme between the two. I am no longer willing to make that trade because the melody that I recovered in this time is the sacred chorus that claimed my heart as a child. It has kept my singing for nearly four decades now and will keep me drivable—in good working order—and will service this heart for a season longer, perhaps even for the generation that is soon to follow.
I don’t know how your truck is driving this week, but if you are feeling a bit old and worn and pried away from your sacred frame, let my lesson be yours. If God is urging you toward an intentional pause, press into his tree and then press in some more until he re-aligns your heart with his. He can absorb our pain; this has always been the intention of the Calvary tree that he planted on our behalf over 2000 years ago.
Press in, child of God. Press on. Move on and take hold of all of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of you. Glorious perfection. Yours and mine, and thus I pray…
Pause me in silence, Father, each and every day for the sweet revelation of your voice. When I allow the world’s noise to drown out your melody, shut me down and bring me to surrender at the foot of your cross. Strengthen my frame for holy submission and press into my flesh the splintered reminder of the price you paid for my re-alignment. May I never lose the wonder of your cross and the glorious participation of your presence in my life. Never again, Father. Never again. So be it. Amen.
Copyright © September 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.
It’s so good to be back with you; that being said, you can expect that I come back with some new parameters for blogging. You can expect to see me here twice a week, unless I have a spectacular urging from God that refuses my silence! I will be over to see you too, but with a much more reasonable approach. Thanks for your prayers. God’s been so faithful. You are all wecome here, and I value your presence in my life! Shalom.