Maserati Madness

There's a Maserati dealer on Rt 270 near Germantown. If you live around here, you've seen it to the right while you were waiting in that long line of Camrys and Accords with brake lights lit and engines idling. I'm not down that way too often, but I've experienced the 270 crawl on more than a few occasions. I always take advantage of my moment stuck in time to look over dreamily at the Maserati dealer.

The mere mention of the word Maserati instantly sends me into my squeaky impression of Joe Walsh. "My Maserati does 185. I lost my license, now I don't drive."

I've never driven a Maserati, though I did see one on the streets of Chicago and took Karen's picture beside it. Or was that a Ferrari? I can't remember. Both are equally out of reach.

I did drive a Bentley once. I was a valet while going to school at Denver Seminary. I was working a private party three doors down from the Elways. I got into this car I didn't recognize. It took me a few minutes to find the ignition (it was above eye level) before I backed it into a tight space along a fence. Only afterwards did I realize I had been backing up a car worth more than the collective wealth of my entire family tree since the Mayflower.

For several years I also had a license plate cover that said, "Denver Ferrari." I actually bought a vehicle there. Unfortunately, it was a `94 Plymouth Voyager that the dealer's ex-wife was dumping. No wonder she left him, if all she got from her tightfisted, Ferrari-owning husband was a 4-cylinder dinghy on wheels.

Whenever I pass the Maserati dealer on 270, the first thing that comes to my mind (after the song), is a question. "Why?" Why would anyone in the DC market buy a car like that? Why would anyone in the Nation's Capital of Traffic (2nd only to LA)--a region where you are more likely to be going nowhere than going the speed limit--buy a car that was made to go 185? It would be like being able to hit a golf ball 300 yards, and never leaving the putt-putt course.

It doesn't make any sense, having all that power, and no place to let it fly.

It makes me wonder about Jesus. He had power beyond compare and was rarely able to use it. He could walk on water, calm storms, and read people's thoughts. He is... The one by whom all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. The one who is before all things, and in whom all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17).

Despite his divine power and capabilities, he was completely human and completely humble. He grew in a woman's womb. He had to learn to read. He tested himself by fighting with the devil in the desert. He allowed himself to be questioned by arrogant idiots. He entertained responses from the dumbest of folk. He suffered humiliation, accusation, and death at the hands of people who were abusing the authority they had stolen from him. Though he had the power of legions of angels at his command--a veritable F146, 597 horsepower, V8 engine engineered by God himself--he kept it all in the garage while Ford Pintos ruled the Jerusalem roadways.

It doesn't make any sense, having all that power, and no place to let it fly. Maybe there's a lesson in that for us. Maybe Jesus is the only one who could have handled it. You and I would crash and burn.

So let's show a little restraint with the power we've been given. Let's be more humble with our opinions. Restraint is at a premium these days, and humility at an all-time low. I'm driving a Toyota thinking I'm hot stuff. You're driving a Kia thinking you're the boss. Only Jesus can handle the Maserati. I'm glad he's the one who has it.

It doesn't make any sense, having all that power, and no place to let it fly. Unless you are Jesus, and are showing us the way to beat the traffic.