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Have you driven your DeLorean lately?

Dr. RB McFee

DeLorean royalty free from

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Point of full disclosure – I like cars. A photo of my stick shift appeared in an earlier article posted on CCUMC devotion site. The beloved automobile is much more than transportation. Cars reflect their drivers’ personalities. They are an art form, an expression of society, and reveal our ability to adapt as people to ever changing environments or challenges.

Sometimes cars even capture our imagination – think gull wing sports cars, “KITT” from Knight Rider, or as time traveling vehicles. Yes, time travel! Not sure what I am talking about? Don’t tell me you haven’t seen the iconic film “Back to the Future?!” In it, our heroes use a DeLorean to take them away from the present; and that usually means the past gets experienced in one way or another.

Why the car talk? (Informative and funny newspaper column if you haven’t read it…but I digress)

The other day at work I was listening to K – Love, which is a contemporary Christian music station (in our area can be found at 95.5 FM and 107.3 FM). They played a song that really got my attention…I liked the lyrics, but what got me to listen fully….. it mentioned a car.

Now for those who listen to classic rock, mentioning cars isn’t such an anomaly or even a big deal. Iconic creations such as Corvettes, T-Birds and a Pink Cadillac all get their due recognition on the airwaves from Elvis to the Beach Boys. There was even a band named The Cars.

But when is the last time you heard a car as part of praise lyrics? Christian rock, and worship music typically don’t share ‘car love’ like Music City, Motown or the band scene of Seattle and LA.

That said, consider….

“See, I refuse to be a shoulda woulda coulda been,

I can’t go back in time, I don’t have a DeLorean,

What I’m trying to say is I don’t wanna say these words again

‘What if, what if’”

Lyrics from “What If” by Matthew West

The songwriter was onto something powerful – as Christians we are a present tense people, and much is expected of us to advance God’s kingdom.

Knowing this, how often have we said the words “what if?”

“You know where” is full of people of good intentions.

How many Christians take those intentions and turn them into present day actions? How often have you or I said, after the green light, I wish I had used the red light to talk with or help the homeless person on the street corner? How often have we wanted to do something nice for someone, or even had a conversation, only to discover the person passed, or the opportunity is gone?

“What if, what if?”

My mom loved to quote an anonymous writer….”what if all the hands that reached could touch?”

You and I are the human touch of our Spirit God. Yet how many people go long stretches of time without the human touch of love, or the eye contact that conveys “you matter,” or the words “I love you” or “I care about you,” or “how can I help you?”

“What if, what if?”

How many times have I heard someone say they’ll set up an outreach program, write a book, reconcile with someone, create a business, volunteer, only to lament they let it slip away. Or worse, let fear, laziness, or other things intrude, allowing distractions and excuses to get in the way of God’s Inspiration, and their realization of it?

Then they take out the DeLorean wanting a do over, another chance from the past. Been there, done that.

“What if, what if?”

As a physician I recognize everyone has an expiration date stamped on their bottom as they fly out of the birth canal. We just don’t see it. Only God can read the ink.

Although we can focus on the deathbed lamentations, what touched me were the deathbed celebrations of lives well lived, often invoking Jesus as the motivation.

I remember Pastor John talking about a person he knew, someone who was aged, and outlived many loved ones; he reminded her, if you are alive, God has a purpose for you. Sadly she focused on her age, on the past, overlooking, risking her purpose in God’s Presence.

‘What if’ we lived as if we knew there would be few tomorrows left in our mere mortal forms? Would it make a difference? Would we be more intentional about utilizing the less than 200 hours we have each week? Or would we think – foolishly – that we have decades upon decades of tomorrows?

Once today is gone, that is it. No redo. No going back to build a perfect pass. No roll over minutes. No driving the DeLorean.

“What if, what if?”

We are still in the winds of “Happy New Year.” But at some point the breeze may calm, and if we are to move forward, rowing might be involved.

Do we forget God’s Presence, the source of our strength, our progress, is 24/7? That through the Holy Spirit we are gifted in special ways – not to merely have them, but to use them for the glory of He who imbues us?

Do we allow our gifts to grow stale, moldy, unused? Been there, done that, got the T shirt.

Do we wonder how to serve the Lord, only to then hold back, in spite of realizing He has given us what, and Who we need to get the job done? Been there, done that, got the T shirt.

But like Matthew West, I will sing – no more “shoulda woulda coulda” because there will come a time when you and I will have no more tomorrows to make up for a lost today.

“What if, what if?”

The past can inform or trap us, showing us patterns of “shoulda woulda coulda been” as much as a recording of when we took inspiration, added perspiration, and made something happen – often to the benefit of others. Our minds wander to a place and time that makes us feel good about ourselves, or remind us dreams did come true.

There are moments the past might be happier than the life we are living today. It is a warm, safe place to visit. But like most vacations, take the photos, enjoy the souvenirs, relish in the good, learn from the mistakes, and then come back.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:18 – 19

Do we have the courage to trust Jesus at His word, and believe He is doing a new thing for us, through us, in us? Do we have the courage to take the gifts we have and use them in the now? Can we transform God’s inspiration into human action, and make a difference?

“What if, what if?”

God accompanies and welcomes us each step of the journey. Jesus is on the path with us, beside us. And through the Holy Spirit is in us, helping us along the way. But we still have to make the journey, and take the road He sets us on.

The present – those precious moments that God gifts us, that will never exist again, except in memories, journals and the lives of those we touched during these fleeting times.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for bad, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11.

The tense is present tense. “I know” means right now. “I have” means right now. If we get started, our future becomes present tense, too! And full of hope.

It is never too late for God to use us. If we have a pulse, we can serve some purpose for the Kingdom.

Maybe you will need a team – looking around at CCUMC I see lots of kindhearted, Christ loving people who have ideas, resources and talent. Find a faith buddy and share what God has put on your heart and spirit and mind. Take the first step. It is the hardest. Just remember God is our ultimate faith Buddy. Trust Him!

I got my assignment and will work toward it. Maybe you also, knowing if God inspired it, He equipped us, too!

“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:8

It isn’t always easy, but when we fully trust God, we can leave the DeLorean in the garage.


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