Thursday of this week, I’ll head up the CA coast on Hwy 1, the classic route through Big Sur, to teach at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and hang with some witty writers. A couple of years ago I did the same route, and must have seen two dozen Mustang convertibles. Rentals, I guess. And no better way to enjoy that stretch than a convertible—unless rain descends. But seeing several Stangs on that clear blue-skied day shocked me—their tops were up and latched, like the one in the pic.
Rather than basking in the openness of God’s creation, they chose comfort. Protection from the elements. Security. So why buy a ragtop? That continues to puzzle me. Yeah, I recently sold my pony convertible, but I still have a motorcycle. Let me suggest the latched-up ragtop gives us a metaphor for following Jesus.
So often, we latch up our lives. Secure. Comfortable. Safe. Boring. Protected from the world, but unproductive. Unfulfilling. Here’s a CS Lewis line, revisited from a few weeks ago, but still appropriate, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”
Why? God challenges the core of our being, our identity, our values. Why? He wants the best for us. For ourselves, for the kingdom. And our old person, or a safe life, never reaches that, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2).
When we follow Jesus, we sacrifice—we give our lives to him. As the core of worship, we value him above all. We accept transformation—we become a different person. A better one. An effective one. A productive one. Yes, that comes with risks.
Yet the tools to experience our metamorphosis are simple—we loosen the latches we’ve closed to God. We lower the top. And we bask in his life. An eternal life, a life without limits. I gave my life to God 60 years ago. I left for a few years, returned, and have experienced a radical transformation. A continuing one. Just today in worship, I asked God to keep changing my life. To better be his. A prayer I covet for you. So, simply say yes to God. Pop the latch.
Kick Starting the Application
What areas in your life have you latched up and closed God off from? What caused that? What keeps you from opening them? What is the risk if you unlatch? What can be the benefits? Will you?