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One tightly gripping the steering wheel, the other working the gear shift knob.
Engines revving, the sound of glass pack muffled engine noise tearing through the air like wild animals about to engage in a battle for the ages.
These two combatants were ready to do go!
All they needed was a GREEN light and they would be off in a flash.
Rubber would squeal, smoke would billow around us...
One vehicle would be left behind the other would dash to the finish line and declare victory.
This was down town Yakima Washington. Sometime in the early 1980s
The sports car in the left lane was driven by a young 20 something and was an orange colored muscle car with plenty of power and sound.
The driver and his passenger were locking eyes with the driver of the Jeep in the right lane.
Anticipation grew as the crimson light toyed with us like a watched pot waiting to boil.
Any moment it would change. Any second the Red would disappear and Green would signal that all engines were GO for launch!
As both vehicles revved and displayed the obvious power both held, the scene must have looked a bit awkward to the bystander.
The Orange sports cars sleek smooth lines were a study of aerodynamic perfection. It was taken care of, washed and shined.
The hunter green jeep was obviously that of a farmer. Square, boxy and covered in mud and dirt.
Both cars rumbled that low guttural sound, both
With a grin on his face the driver of the jeep looked over at his ashen faced passenger and uttered the phrase that sticks with ME some 30 years laterÂ€Â€
Â€ÂœDale, do not EVER tell your GRANDMOTHER what I am about to do!Â€
Yep, that figure behind the wheel of the jeep was my GRANDFATHER!!!!!
When the light changedÂ€.for just a brief instant I though Grandpa was going to take it easyÂ€.
His foot planted itself firm to the floor and the force of the acceleration pushed my stomach and the rest of my internal organs hard against my spine!
With a cloud of smoke and a mighty Â€ÂœHI HO SILVER!Â€ we shot towards the next light, the finish line.
Oh, a couple things I should tell you about the jeepÂ€
These were the days BEFORE we wore seat beltsÂ€..
There were NO doors on the jeepÂ€.
And the owner before my grandfather had installed a 454 Police Interceptor engine with dual exhaust, headers and glass packs. It was strong, powerful and VERY fast!
Just the previous year my Dad drove it in our local parade pulling a flatbed trailer with a piano, sound system and the members of the Selah High School Jazz choir (which I was a part of.)
Well he did not so much drive it as just guide it. Even pulling all that weight it IDLED at 20mph!
Dad had to keep hitting the brakes so we would not go TOO fast and rear end the float in front of us.
This was the hidden power that lay beneath the surfaceÂ€..
As we jetted down the block any scream I might have emitted would have been shoved forcibly back down my throat by the force of the wind coming back at me .
Once at the finish line, we waited for the defeated sports car to pull up next to us.
When it did the two young men, not much older than my 19 or 20 years were applauding.
Â€ÂœThat was AWESOME!Â€ they exclaimed with broad smiles and a rare dose of humility dawning their countenance. Â€ÂœYou have a COOL GrandpaÂ€ they said looking at me.
Indeed I did.
My Grandfather had a zest for life.
He was active everyday working in the orchard and around the yard. He knew good work ethic and taught it to me as well.
He also had a great sense of humor and a bit of wild streak.
He wore overalls and a ball cap almost everyday and to look at him you would never have guessed the gentle, kind and strong man that lay beneath the surface. This one time baker, turned orchardist and the father turned Grandfather.
I carry a lot of him in me to this day.
Jesus is like this too.
He was and unassuming man that people thought they could dismiss or take advantage of. He wore common clothes and a mild appearance. He was not at all the vision of a KING that some where expecting.
But what lied beneath the outward was the strength and power of His Father. Beneath the hard working hands of a carpenter where the hands that healed by their gentle touchÂ€.
The same hands that could raise the dead.
Arms strong as an OAK TREE
And caring enough to hug with a fathers loveÂ€.
He was a wise and sometimes quiet man with a bit of a wild streak as well (see him throwing the money changers out of the temple)
My Grandfather told great stories of life, and Jesus spoke in parables so that all might hear and understand.
And I carry a lot of Christ in me as well.
Just as you could not judge Grandpa by his outward appearance you could always see the love that was in him for us.
The same goes for Jesus as well, the love he has for US is unlimited. There is an overflowing abundance for all.
As you carry on through life and you change from child to adult, from Mother/Father to GrandMother/Grandfather your appearance will change, but the child of God that is in you will not.
Let the love of God flow through you and then FROM you like a fountain of youth. Filling whomever it touches with the power and love of our Heavenly father.
You never know when you will be the COOL father/mother or COOL Grandfather/Grandmother.
Oh and as to the promise I made my Grandfather to not tell my GrandmaÂ€.
I never did.
But now that they are both home with Jesus I am sure she knowsÂ€..
And if she didntÂ€.
She does NOW!
I can see her now turning to him and scoldingÂ€
And Grandpa AND Jesus will throw back their heads