Faith Is Not always Easy!
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)
Restoration of My 1917 Model T
Just before cancer and retirement in 2012, I bought a 1917 Ford Model T 3-Door Touring Car. It had parts missing and had not been cranked in years. This model has no door on the driver’s side because Henry Ford said, “The driver might fall out.” The driver gets in on the passenger side and slides over to the steering wheel. When we moved to TX for my cancer treatment, Linda, Michelle, and Steve took care of the move while I was in the hospital. Movers brought the furniture, but my Model T was towed on a trailer. While I was in the hospital for cancer treatment, without my knowledge, Linda had my Model T completely restored by Lilleker Antique Auto, College Station, Texas. They are Model A and Model T specialists. I will never forget my Christmas surprise when I came home from the hospital to my totally restored Model T. It was a cold December day, but I enjoyed my first ride as a passenger!
Because of my poor health during cancer treatment, I had difficulty getting up into the car. You don’t open a door and sit down like you do in today’s cars. You have to literally “climb up” into it.
The Total Restoration of my 1917 Model T reminds me of what God did in my life when He restored me to Himself as a 17 year old boy.
Four-Step Journey to Peace with God: www.peacewithgod.net
After restoration it looks just like it did when it rolled off the assembly line on January 10, 1917. During the restoration, they added a starter, alternator, and 12-volt battery system to make it easier and safer to crank. I learned that many people over the years have broken a wrist or arm when the motor kicked back and the crank handle hurt or broke their wrist or arm. I have always been afraid to use the hand crank, so the electric start works great for me.
The Model T was built by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 until 1927 and has a colorful history. It quickly became practical, affordable transportation for the common man, because of its low cost, durability, and it was easy to maintain.
The first production Model T Ford was assembled at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit on October 1, 1908. With the last Model T produced in 1927, 15 million had rolled off the assembly line. Assembly-line production allowed the price of the touring car version (like I have) to be lowered from $850 in 1908 to $290 in 1925. At such prices the Model T at times comprised as much as 40 percent of all cars sold in the United States. Even before it lost favor to larger, more powerful, and more luxurious cars, the Model T, known popularly as the “Tin Lizzie” or the “flivver,” had become an American folkloric symbol. Below is a 1925 newspaper sales ad:
My Fully Restored 1917 3-Door Touring
The Model T was offered in several body styles, including a five-seat touring car like my 1917, a two-seat runabout, and a seven-seat town car. All bodies were mounted on a uniform 100-inch-wheelbase chassis. A choice of colors was originally available, but from 1913 to 1925 the car was mass-produced in only one color—black. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “You can get it in any color, as long as it is black.” The engine was simple and efficient, with all four cylinders cast in a single block and the cylinder head detachable for easy access and repair. The engine generated 20 horsepower and propelled the car to modest top speeds of 40–45 miles per hour. In most models the engine was started by a hand crank, which activated a magneto connected to the flywheel, but after 1920 some models were equipped with battery-powered starters. When my 1917 Model T was restored, they added a 12-volt starter and alternator system. The transmission, consisting of two forward gears and one reverse, was of the planetary type, controlled by foot pedals rather than the more common hand lever used in sliding-gear transmissions. Spark and throttle were controlled by a hand lever on the steering column. The 10-gallon fuel tank is located under the front seat. Because gasoline was fed to the engine only by gravity, and also because the reverse gear offered more power than the forward gears, the Model T frequently had to be driven up a steep hill backward. Such deficiencies, along with its homely appearance, less-than-comfortable ride at top speeds, and incessant rattling, made the Model T the butt of much affectionate humor in jokes, songs, poems, and stories.
A Ford Model T is a simple and yet the most complex vehicle I have ever tried to drive. You have to constantly give close attention and commitment to focusing on what you are doing. YOU’RE the one in charge! YOU’RE in the driver’s seat. There are three pedals. The one on the right is the brake, the middle one is reverse (press down), and the left one is forward with two gears, (press down for low, neutral is half way out, and all the way out for high). It is a little tricky getting into high gear while you operate the spark and throttle on the steering column.
After completing the total restoration of my 1917 Ford Model T 3-Door Touring, I realized this was a beautiful illustration of exactly what happened in my life when God restored me to Himself as a seventeen year old boy. This illustration gives me opportunities to share what God has done in my life!
Years ago we often saw those bumper stickers that stated, “God is my co-pilot.” I never liked those bumper stickers because I don’t want God to be my “co-pilot”, I want and need Him to be my “Pilot.” I WANT HIM TO BE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT. Therefore, I have to be surrendered, committed, and obedient to Him.
I know I have already lived more years than I have left. I know one day my body will die, but I will forever because I have trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)
Most of us have needs in our lives that we want met. We recognize we are helpless within ourselves and know that if our needs are met, it will require a miracle from God. The path to a miracle can be through uncomfortable territory. It was for me! Surgery, months of sickening chemo and weeks of whole brain radiation get very painful and uncomfortable. It is easy to fret, fear, and question if God is hearing your prayers. God has been faithful and has provided my healing. God taught me some valuable lessons through this experience! I’m glad I belong to Him!