We went to see Frozen in 3D as a family. I liked it. Please don’t judge me. The tunes from the movie have taken the kid world by storm. I can understand why. They’re catchy. Turns out one song in particular has pretty solid theology too, “Everyone’s a Bit of a Fixer Upper.” It is true, no one is perfect, and everyone needs some fixin’ up.
1991 Fixer Upper
So my daughter is driving now and we purchased an old car from a friend. The car had not just a couple of quirks with it. Which, in my opinion, all first-cars must have some "personality". It builds character.
The vehicle is a 1991 Nissan Sentra. It has a few “distinctives.” For example, there is a wooden shim in one of the rear door panels keeping the window from collapsing into the door. And like a stuck zipper, the passenger front window only partially closes. The paint is dulled like powder, the radio transmits only static, and all the speakers in the car are falling apart. I know what you’re thinking…sucker! So why did we buy it? We bought it partially to help out a friend who was moving, partly because we needed a car, but mostly because it had low mileage and was cheap!
Over the past week this little sedan has become my project. First thing I did was resuscitate the red by scrubbing, compounding and polishing it. Next the stereo had to go. Along with the cassettetapes this deck was ready for the museum. Though I hadn't installed a car radio since President Reagan’s second term, after a little help from youtube and a few blown fuses, cha ching…success!
Next came time to tackle the issues I was most afraid of. The windows! This was totally uncharted territory for me. So I turned again to Prof. Google for a diagnosis and instructions. I discovered that it was the switch, the regulator and/or the motor. I ordered the four necessary replacement parts to fix both windows. I was told the parts would be in the next day, Saturday. “Perfect,” I thought! The car would be out of commission for only a day.
Well, when I went to pick up the parts the next day I discovered we ordered the wrong motors. (Here's the good-news-camouflaged-as-bad-news-part-of-the-story. Garth Brooks sung about this). So we had to reorder them. The bad news was the motors would now not be in until Tuesday! When I got back home I decided to go ahead install what new parts I had. And, just for kicks, I put the old motors back on. Unbeknown to me, all the parts needed I had. Long story short- (good news) the old motors were fine and all four windows now work perfectly.
So here are some fixer upper lessons I've learned from the 1991 Sentra, and from 20 years in pastoral ministry and from being married.
1. Fixer Uppers have little, and not so little, Quirks
We all have issues. Some of them are easily repaired, but some of them will take some work. That is why we all must lean heavily on the grace, mercy and cleansing work of Christ. He is working to perfect us.
2. Someone has to be willing to invest in a fixer upper to bring out its potential.
We are all fixer uppers, but it takes someone who will see our potential to invest in us and bring out the best in us. Jesus did that for you and me. That is why he came to world. He came to redeem us, and to release us from the power of sin, to experience abundant life. In your life there may be a fixer upper that needs your attention. It may be someone under your roof, on your little league team, in your classroom, or in your company. You could be the ‘someone’ God will use to bring out the full potential in a fellow fixer upper.
3. A Fixer Upper’s Good Parts are often overlooked because of the Broken Parts.
It’s true, we all have quirks and we all have weaknesses. But all of us, fixer uppers, also have some pretty amazing gifts and talents. Don’t allow the broken parts in you to negate your strengths. Nor in others.
4. A Fixer Upper is Never Finished
A fixer upper is always a fixer upper. There are always improvements and modifications to be made. That 1991 will never look like it did 23 years ago. Time in the sun and storms has taken its toll. But it can be improved.
You and I will never be perfect until our sanctification gives way to glorification in heaven. But we are thankful for the Spirit of Christ that works with us, making us better than we were yesterday. Aren't you thankful that Jesus came to redeem the potential in you?! Aren't you glad he specializes in fixer uppers?! I am too.
You are Loved,