Tonight the family and I were out running some errands….and there she was. Pictured above is the 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1. She’s both my dream car and one of my biggest mistakes. She sat there just taunting me with the for sale sign in the window. Actually, this isn’t the one that was my mistake. This one is in much better shape….which almost makes the memory of that mistake even worse.
Let me explain.
When I was 14 years old, I began working in a small shoe store about 2 blocks from our home. I worked 3 days a week, 3 hours each day. I washed windows, scrubbed toilets, mopped floors and shifted stock. My small checks went into the small savings account that my mom and I set up at the bank just 2 doors down from the shoe store. As I started to get closer to that age when I could drive, the old 1971 Ford Mustang in my neighbors backyard started to taunt me. We talked to the neighbor and he agreed when I turned 16, I could empty said bank account and have the Mustang. I dreamed of flying down the road in that car after my dad and I restored it. The pieces were all in place.
Then it happened…
One Sunday, when I was still 15 years old, I was pulling my parents car up to the church as I often would. I didn’t have a license, but I had done this many times. I’m still not sure how it all happened but I know the end result was me hitting a car that was 2 weeks old. The owner of the vehicle was kind enough to settle out of court so I wouldn’t lose getting my license when I was 16. However the repairs to that car wiped out my bank account…..and the dreams of owning that 1971 Mach 1 Ford Mustang.
A quick moment, a bad decision, all that time, all those hours of work….gone.
A dream shattered
A heart broken.
So you can imagine my pain each time I see one of these cars, no matter the condition. It all comes back like it was yesterday. To see this one today, in such great shape was another reminder. Even the 1971 smell as I peaked in the window to check the mileage was like I was 15 years old all over again. In the moments that followed, I not only remembered the pain of the decision, but the blessings which followed.
I didn’t get the car, but I got my license. My Mom used to say she feared I would kill myself in that car. It was a lot of car for a 16 year old. You can also bet I was a much more careful driver after that quick brush with crashing a car. So while I still dream of flying down the freeway in a 1971 Mach 1 someday, I know this all worked out for the best. Sometimes God can do that even when we don’t know it. Even when we don’t consult his guidance and wisdom.
What in your life are you struggling with right now? Does it feel like a dream has been shattered? Does it seem like the cruelest of times? Remember we don’t see the full picture. It doesn’t mean you won’t carry the memory. It doesn’t mean you can’t always dream. It just means that there’s another story being written.
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