Joe Loppy chugged and sputtered down Interstate. He could no longer keep up in Fast Lane. Not that he was an antique car--older vehicles zipped along smoothly at 55 per. His muffler rasping and dragging, he inched his way off Panic exit. Pumping his failing brakes around the cloverleaf, he pulled in at Gas Station/Garage and coasted to a halt.
With a shudder and a shake, steam pouring from beneath his hood, Joe Loppy switched off his ignition. Fumes belched from somewhere within him for two full minutes before his engine-heart gave its final throb with a heave and groan. A hubcap fell off with a clatter and rolled back toward the highway.
Amused Attendant sauntered toward him wiping greasy hands on a rag that he stuck into the pocket of his overalls. Unable even to peer through the smudged windshield, Attendant attacked it with a sloppy sponge and squeegee. "We still give full service," he chuckled.
"I'm afraid," Joe Loppy confessed, "that I need some major attention."
"So when was your last tune-up?"
"I. . .I don't think I ever had one."
"What?" cried wide-eyed Attendant.
"Well, I was a new model ten years ago," Joe timidly ventured, "so I didn't expect to need attention so soon. All my parts were spankin’ new right off the assembly line."
"I can't believe this!" Attendant shook his head and slapped his knees. "I'll have to turn you over to G.M."
"Yes, Great Mechanic. Pull into the garage--take the first bay. G.M. will put you through Major Inspection and then you'll know the verdict."
Joe Loppy felt as if he were entering a court room to stand trial for murder. He dreaded Major Inspection because he never experienced one. Unable to start himself up again, he was humiliated when Attendant, groaning and mumbling, had to push him.
Up, up toward the ceiling went Joe Loppy on the hydraulic lift. Thus elevated, he could not see Great Mechanic. He could only hear His voice and submit to His scrutiny.
Joe Loppy felt clamps and lines and wires being attached to his parts and Celestial Computer switched on. After the beeps and lights and whirs ceased, he was unhooked. Ominous silence. He awaited G.M.'s verdict.
"Where's your Title?" inquired Great Mechanic. His voice was strong and deep, but He didn't yell as Joe expected He might. He felt a little less fearful. Joe fumbled in his glove compartment and handed over his Vehicle Birth Certificate.
"Well, well, you are one of Our originals--a genuine G.M. classic model," declared Great Mechanic. "Why, you belong to My Son! Didn't you know that we not only build new models, but we also maintain them? You have a Lifetime Warranty, Joe! Why didn't you come to Us sooner?"
"I didn't know I was supposed to," apologized Joe sheepishly.
"Don't you have Our Owner's Manual?" questioned G.M.
Another shuffle in the glove compartment. "I recall seeing it somewhere when I was still new," he murmured. Joe finally produced The Book still sealed in its original plastic wrapper.
"My Son and I intended that the Owner's Manual be a regular guide to your good maintenance. You wouldn't be in such bad shape if you had followed Our instructions from the beginning."
Joe felt increasingly ill at ease, having run out of excuses.
"Had regular tune-ups?" Asked G.M.
"Never had one," answered Joe faintly.
"Inspections? We have qualified workers, you know, who can help you maintain standards of safety on The Road so you won't damage yourself or others."
"None of those either. Sorry," Joe Loppy confessed.
G.M. proceeded to tap and feel Joe's body. Bumps and dents covered most of his surface. "What a lot of unfortunate contacts! If you allow dents like these to go unattended, your body can rust. You can't keep an impact from occurring, but if you come to Me as dents happen, I can attend to them."
Joe winced, remembering the painful fender benders--and worse--that he suffered from not-so-friendly contacts in traffic.
"You must change all filters frequently. They pay for themselves in pure, clean intake," G.M. advised. "Keep filled with clean oil so everything will run smoothly." Joe couldn't remember the last time he even checked his oil, let alone changed it.
"Noise of any kind means trouble. Always find out the reason. Quiet means you are performing well. The condition of your muffler is incredible, Joe! Do you know how important your exhaust pipe is? You must have an efficient emission system to get rid of waste fumes or everything will back up. Suddenly you will have pollution inside if you don't vent properly. And outside too, that will harm others.
"And you need new shock absorbers. Road conditions are unpredictable. You can sustain much damage from potholes, especially downtown on
Joe felt dizzy trying to remember all the things he never did to keep himself in good condition. "Woe is me, have I come to You too late? Will I ever recover?" he mumbled.
Great Mechanic heard him and encouraged, "Sure you will, Joe! My Son and I have been in the manufacture and body works business for thousands of years, you know. We are universally known."
"Sir, I do not doubt your ability, but I do have high mileage on my odometer. Actually—it’s on its second time around. Maybe I'm beyond help and not worth restoring? Wouldn't I be better off in Junk Yard?" Joe shuddered.
"You should see the wrecks that come to Us! We restore them like new and put them right back on The Road again. It is never too late. We'll have you shipshape in no time since you finally came to Us. That's a promise.
"What's more, your trade-in value at End of the Road is so high you can't even calculate it. You are worth everything We invest in your restoration because My Son paid a lot for you. When trade-in time does come, you wouldn't believe what a wonderful new model you will become!" assured G.M.
Joe Loppy's fear and apprehension at G.M.'s Major Inspection gave way to anticipation. He shouted enthusiastically, "This is the best thing that ever happened to me! I'm really sorry I put off coming to You for so long. Please, Sir, take me in for the whole job—Complete Overhaul and Restoration. And . . .thanks!"
SCRIPTURE SERVICE AND WARRANTIES
Appointment for a check up and the right place to go: Psalm 140:23, 24; 107:13.
Confessing the need for service, exams, tests: Psalm 26:2; 1 John 1:8-10;
1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5.
New models produced: 2 Cor. 5:17
Title ownership and purchase price: 1 Cor. 12:27; 1 Cor. 6:20
Periodic safety inspections: Heb. 13:17
Knowledge of our poor condition: Psalm 103:14
Need for body work: 2 Cor. 4:16
Oil change and clean filters: Psalm 23:5; 92:10b; 2 Cor. 7:1
Good shock absorbers essential: Psalm 112:6a; 7b
Despair about poor condition: Psalm 43:5
Quiet performance: 1 Thess. 4:11
Intrinsic value: Matt. 10:31; 12:12
Maintenance needed: Jude 21
Driving carefully and defensively: Rom. 12:17,18
Restoration needed and promised: Psalm 23:3; 51:12; Eph. 4:23, 24
Trade-in time is coming: 2 Cor. 5:1-3
Complete overhaul and tune up guaranteed: Psalm 34:6; 145:14; 34:10b
Decision for entire overhaul: Rom. 12:1
G.M. keeps His word: 1 Thess. 5:24
Thankfulness for blessings: 1 Thess. 5:18
The above is one selection from Leona Choy’s unpublished book manuscript, GOTHIC ARCHIE AND OTHER IMAGINEERINGS: Parables of the
As for style, I take my own path to creatively express principles and truths from the Scriptures by making use of humor and contemporary analogies. For some of the several dozen stories in this collection, I interweave narrative and modern verse in sense lines. Each of these stories may stand alone but they have something in common: I offer a single life-topic in each one and tie it to relevant biblical references as sources for my ideation and foundational truths.