Angie writes: "I'm married with three grown kids. I currently work in a doctor's office, but my passion is writing. I pray that God will open doors for me to write full time and touch people's lives with His Word."
One day a man went to a car lot to buy a car. He panned the view, noticing the vast array of models, sizes, colors, makes, and styles. As he strolled by sports cars, sedans, SUV's, vans, and anything in between, he paused occasionally to study the differences of each.
Peering into a sleek, aerodynamic sports car, he noted the red leather interior and stylish gauges. A turbo charged engine enabled it to reach 200 mph--quickly. The tag on the window revealed the amenities and extras and cost. He looked down past its glossy black coating to see alloy wheels shining silver on Pirelli tires. One thing was for certain: this thing was created to be driven fast. Everything on it and in it was put there for that very reason. Speed.
Past several more rows of sports cars in various shapes and sizes, he came to the trucks. Some large, some small. Some with extended cab, some not. Some with four wheel drive. Some with a hitch. All of the big ones boasted one thing: power. An engine strong enough to pull a train with enough off-road traction to get you across the rockiest terrain on earth. A bed big enough to hold a small house and enough horsepower to transport it across the continent if need be. The vehicle for a man's man. Obviously these machines were made for two purposes: to pull and to carry.
The man in him was tempted to stop here and make his purchase, but curiosity willed him on when he spied some luxury sedans resting regally a few yards from where he stood. Slowly circling a metallic bronze beauty, he allowed his eyes to caress its elegant frame. Looking in the driver's side window, he gazed upon plush leather bucket seats and wood veneers. Amenities were many. Bluetooth, XM radio, dual climate control, heated seats, a built in GPS, among things he'd never heard of like side blind zone alert and lane departure warning. Everything was automatic, from the windows to the seats. A presidential suite on wheels meant to spoil the owner. Created for style, comfort, and class.
Onto the van section--consumed with safely features for the growing family, like child-proof windows and locks, built-in child seats, as well as extra cargo space and DVD players to keep fussy kids entertained on long trips (or not so long trips.) Everything was designed with the idea of keeping the children (and parents) comfortable, relaxed, and happy.
Hybrids rested in rows like sleeping aliens, ranging from cozy and compact to youthful and sporty to useful and practical. In today's green economy, these cars were fast becoming popular, created for the purpose of optimum fuel-efficiency and cleaner air.
A sudden overwhelming feeling seized him, and he let his eyes pan the car lot once again. So many machines, so alike yet so different. All so unique yet obviously created for a common purpose: transportation. Of course each came standard with rear view mirrors and air bags. Most had automatic transmissions that know just when to switch gears; anti-lock brakes allow a car to stop on a dime more safely and without skidding. Each intricate part has a purpose and must work precisely with the other parts in order for the finished product to function correctly.
Some differences were obvious, like body and color. But each style of vehicle that dotted the vast lot before his eyes was created to meet certain needs and desires for certain people. Each one was designed around the idea of what those needs would be and how the vehicle could best provide them. Each one was equipped with just the right tools to adapt to its environment and do what it was created to do.
On his way home, however, as proudly drove his newly purchased mid-sized truck, the man was only thinking of the enjoyment of the ride, the new car smell, the shiny blue paint, and the fact that the sharp little thing was his.
He was a bit more aware of the necessity of anti-lock brakes when, a few weeks later a car pulled out in front of him on a rainy day, and he had to step on the brakes. The truck stopped instantly, missing the rear-end of the car by inches.
The bed came in handy when he offered to help a friend move, and what would have been a two day chore turned into one.
It helped on cold mornings that the defroster and the heater worked well. A day was much better started when one could drive to work without freezing.
When spring came, his four wheel drive got him and a couple of his friends over muddy mountain terrain to hike a trail he'd been wanting to get to for a long time.
Before he knew it, a year had passed. He and his little truck had become close friends. A faithful companion, it had gotten him safely through four seasons of varying weather including cold, heat, snow, and rain.
One day, while the man was washing his truck, his neighbor came over to admire it. He commented on the durability and how new it still looked. The owner nodded proudly and let his eyes roam over the slick finish, still as flawless as the day he bought it. The neighbor asked how it performed and if it had given him any trouble.
The man said it had given him no trouble; it had been very reliable. He commented that he was amazed how something could evolve into such a useful, smart machine. At this, the neighbor's eyes widened, and his lips parted in surprise at the man's comment. He waited for the man to laugh, some sign that his comment was made in jest. But the man remained straight-faced while scrutinizing the wax job he'd just finished. After a wipe here and rub there, he seemed satisfied and turned his attention back to his neighbor.
He continued to explain how all the parts came together in just the right places at just the right times to form a machine that is capable of providing transportation in a reliable, safe, and comfortable way, meeting specific needs for the many different kinds of people who purchase them. It all started with an engine--the heart of the vehicle. In the beginning vehicles ran off steam or electricity, but soon evolved into gas-powered machines. The steam-powered and electric motors didn't change gears, and the early gas-powered ones were changed, with difficulty, manually. Eventually, key ignitions replaced crankshafts; automatic transmissions replaced manual ones; engines had more power yet used less fuel. The early bodies were simplistic, not having the emenities or comforts of today's smarter cars. Safety features were non-existent; the first automobiles were more like an uncovered electric wagon.
After all of the necessities to make the car run, the body slowly took shape, starting with the doors, hood, then the trunk and roof. Added necessities, such as head and tail lights took their place, then the windows and rear and front windshields. Windshield wipers, defrosters, door locks, air bags--all these plus many more safety features were later added to insure the owner calm passage.
Pausing a moment--he was quite proud of himself for his knowledge of the history the automobile--and the fact that his neighbor seemed quite impressed--he continued. He watched an insect dive onto his front left headlight and swished it away with the rag he was holding. His neighbor was waiting...
Soon radios, air conditioning, and heat came into being. Power windows and locks became standard on most vehicles. In our fast-paced and demanding culture, vehicles were forced to have more and do more. Satellite radio, global positioning systems, and voice activated Bluetooth phones evolved in the more sophisticated models. Only the future will tell what the machines will become as they adapt to the next generation and the generations to come.
The man smiled victoriously at his neighbor, who in all this time hadn't said a word. He still couldn't quite read his expression; it seemed to be mixed with shock and a hint of amusement. After a few more seconds of silence, his neighbor only told him he something to show him and was he free on Tuesday?
Three days later the man found himself riding in his neighbor's car. He had no idea where he was going; his neighbor refused to tell him, saying he'd find out when he gets there. It was kind of exciting no doubt. What triggered his neighbor's sudden desire (an almost urgent one, at that) to take him on this mysterious excursion he didn't know, but he was quite enjoying himself.
Ten minutes later they pulled into the parking lot of what looked like a huge factory. He didn't ask questions when his neighbor parked and motioned for him to get out of the car with him. They walked into the front office where the neighbor told the secretary they had an appointment for a tour of the plant. She smiled courteously and told them to have a seat; someone would be with them in a moment.
Not five minutes later a stocky, smiley guy who called himself Deke was leading them down a hall past offices and conference rooms. The door at the end had a sign with all kinds of safety warnings, and he and his neighbor were handed a hard hat and safety goggles. Deke opened the door and motioned for them to go through.
The first thing he noticed was the noise. Dozens of loud, busy robots maneuvered around one another hastily, drilling and fusing and piecing and fitting. Deke explained this was the welding room, where the pieces for the body of a car are made. Each robot had a job, and each did precisely.
Deke led them on down the huge assembly line where more robots welded the body parts together then added the doors and a hood. He was amazed at how little time this job took before the parts were fitted together to look like the body of a car.
Six thousand welds later, (as Deke informed them), they were now at the end of the assembly line. Time for paint. Each car body was rolled into an undercoating to protect it from corrosion. It looked like it was being dunked in a swimming pool. After the process, painting robots' long arms covered the car in primer, then in paint. Finally a shiny coat was applied to add protection and beauty to the finish.
Deke led them up a flight of stairs to another gigantic, noisy room and more assembly lines. He explained that this was where the frame of the car was made. As they walked down the line, he watched intently as robots placed the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, and brakes into the frame.
The body also moved down an assembly line where windows, handles, door panels, and other interior parts were added. He watched with fascination as each intricate part was placed with care and precision.
Finally, body and frame met and were joined at a station where all the electrical and fluid connections were added. Suddenly there before him was a completed automobile, sitting valiantly in its lustrous new coat of red paint, beaming with confidence and pride. As was the man's neighbor. And the man knew not why.
They were both quiet on the way home, each man lost in his own thoughts. One was praying that the other could see the truth; the other was trying to make sense of what he'd just seen. It wasn't until they were in his neighbor's driveway that the man spoke. He thanked his neighbor for the afternoon, though he still wasn't sure what the purpose of it was.
To be honest, he was shocked at what he'd seen; it defied everything he had ever believed. Was it true? His neighbor assured him that is was. He told him that there was a maker for every car on every lot, that though the way they're manufactured now differs from the way they were first made a hundred years ago, they've always had a creator. Someone fashioned each one from a master plan. Someone drew their blueprint before they ever existed. Someone knew exactly what they'd need beforehand and provided everything for them before they rolled off the assembly line.
The neighbor saw that the man was deep in thought, so he quit talking. He could tell the man was wrestling with what he had always believed to be true and what was the real truth. He had just witnessed the creation of the automobile. They didn't just grow parts as he'd always thought. They were made. Created.
"I don't get it. I just don't get it", he said at last. Then his expression changed from puzzlement to defiance, and he shook his head. "No, I don't believe it. There is too much proof otherwise. I read in "The Origin of the Automobile" how it all began. You are just trying to brainwash me with your beliefs! I've heard of people like you. You try pushing your beliefs down other's throats. We have a right to believe what we want to believe, and I choose to believe that automobiles are not created but evolved over hundreds of years into what they are today. Now leave me alone!"
Sadness overtook the neighbor's countenance as he watched his friend turn and walk home.
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:18-20
(© 2016 Angie Gibson – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)