My wife and I love to go to garage sales. One never knows what treasures are waiting to be discovered. Last summer, for example, I stumbled upon one of the greatest finds of all time.
The sale we were at had so far proven to be a dud. In fact, my wife had already made her way to the car, where she was patiently waiting for me to quit browsing so we could move on to a more promising location. I was about to join her when I saw it. At first, I was not sure what it was. It looked like a cassette tape rewinder.
Remember those? I think they were sold to our naive friends who did not realize the same task could be accomplished in their tape deck.
I was about to explain to my son the importance of such a gadget when I realized that this was not your everyday cassette rewinder. In fact, it was not a rewinder at all. This little gadget was much more advanced than that. Upon further investigation, it proved to be an adapter that allows cassette tapes to be played in an 8-track player. Wow. I had never seen anything like it. Trying to conceal my excitement, I counted out change that equaled a dollar and proudly carried my purchase to the car. I was sure my wife would revel in the deal of the day such as I did.
For some reason, she did not see the beauty in my discovery. “You paid a dollar for that? And you didn’t even try to talk them down?” Immediately, all my hopes for a cameo on “American Pickers” were instantly dashed.
I thought I was making progress on honing in my wife’s appreciation for the finer things of life, but apparently we still have a long way to go. Enthusiastically I explained the benefits of owning a cassette-to-8-track adapter. Hey, you never know when you will need one! Would it not be awful to want to listen to a cassette only to find out that an 8-track player is the only piece of technology available? Never mind that I have not seen an 8-track player in probably twenty-five years, and have almost completely ridden my house of cassettes. Still, I think my find was pretty great. A novelty if nothing else. And I only paid a dollar for it.
I am sure that if I would not have rescued this little marvel of ancient technology, it would have ended up in the garbage. Or it would have been donated to a thrift store and ended up in their garbage. Of course, I had no use for it other than sparking conversation. However, the point is that I saw value in something that no one else did…even my perceptive wife.
As I mulled over ways to vindicate my purchase by finding some usefulness for this outdated device, I got to thinking…is it possible that we can sometimes feel like that neglected adapter? Do we ever feel useless, unloved, and overlooked by everyone? Do we ever identify with the inhabitants on the Island of Misfit Toys, barely clinging to life with no hope for the future?
Guess what? There is someone who loves you. Someone who is willing to pay much more than a measly dollar to spare you from an eternity of hopelessness. Someone who is willing to give up His life for you. That someone is, of course, Jesus Christ. Because of our sin, we deserve to spend forever reaping the punishment that we deserve. However, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). His death pacified the wrath of God for the sin of all who will believe on Him.
Jesus has made the payment to rescue you from hopelessness and despair. Only one thing stands in the way. The payment must be accepted through faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to God. Have you accepted His payment?
I do not know for sure what I will do with my precious adapter. Maybe it will stay buried in a box. Maybe I will throw it away. It doesn’t matter, because I really have no use for it. I sure am glad, though, that God will never neglect me. Because of my faith in Jesus Christ, I have a home in Heaven forever, and nothing can take that away.
This article appeared in the Bremen Enquirer on March 12, 2015 in my column entitled Connections: Relating the Bible to Everyday Life.