The Old Car in the Woods

Nearly every year, while hunting throughout the fall season, I stumble across remnants of a long-abandoned farmstead. Sometimes I find myself walking upon a forsaken cemetery of yesteryear, dotted with with unreadable gravestones, while other graves are marked with mere field stones. It is if the stones are calling out, “here is the the resting place of a person who has a name.”

As one who is intrigued by what once was, my hunt is nearly always interrupted with curiosity. I wonder, “What are the untold stories which once occupied this place?”

As this photo reveals, Occasionally, I happen upon abandoned cars. This space was once a field that has since returned to woods. The 1960-era Dodge is now part of the wooded area I hunt frequently.

I was drawn to the story behind this forgotten and abandoned car. I wonder:

Who owned this car?

What melody did the occupants sing along with as music aired through the AM radio?

Once upon a time, did children’s laughter and chatter occupy the back seats as the car bounced across the back hills and roads?

What hardship, hurt, or loss was known by its occupants?

What memories were once part of the story?

Why this spot as the final resting place?

With these questions stirring in my mind, I poke and prod around the rusty remains.

Incredibly, all four tires are still inflated. I am struck by the fact the air yet inflating the tires came from the era when the car was in use. Two of four headlights appear awake and alert. The other two are broken as are all the windows. Years of weather and rodents have taken their toll, further taxing the exposed remains. Yet, despite its faded beauty, the Dodge placard remains prominently displayed on the trunk. Though the glory days are long gone, the car’s identity remains unchanged.

I wonder, “What did the car look like in all its pomp and glory when it rolled off the assembly line over a half century ago?”

Perhaps I am far too sentimental and nostalgic; however, these unplanned stumblings and unusual discoveries always capture me and draw me in. These interruptions never fail me in re-centering a healthy perspective.

In so many ways, this car captures the story of life.

I am reminded that indeed, life happens quickly. Identity, just like this old car, will be carried to our grave.

The Apostle James asks a hard question, “What is your life?” He further declares, “Life is like a dew or vapor that appears for a little time then vanishes away.” (James 4:14). Certainly, in view of eternity this proves true. Standing alone, this verse can appear fatalistic or, at the very least, read quite morbid.

However, unlike this car, the followers of Christ are not abandoned to the grave. By nature of the fall, all of humanity is fading just like this car. But, someday when the trumpet sounds, in the twinkling of an eye, all those in Christ will be restored.

I wonder, what will that day be like?

Discovering an old car in the woods…a subtle reminder of the passing of time. Indeed, this gets me excited for that promised day yet to come.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  1 Corinthians 15:52