Doug Cooper had a dream job for the summer. His grandpa started a taxi company in the little town where they lived. The business grew, and he bought a brand-new Chevy. “Would you like to be the driver, Doug?”
“Do pigs like to wallow in the mud? Is it cold in Alaska? Of course I want to be the driver!”
Doug was determined not to put a scratch or even the tiniest dent on Grandpa’s new taxi, but before the summer was over, he would have gladly traded many dents and scratches for what actually happened.
Late one night, Doug was on his way home. He decided to stop by the lake to check on the family boat. Positioning the car so that the lights were shining on the dock, Doug left the motor running and got out of the car in a hurry. He started walking down the slope toward the edge of the lake.
Suddenly he heard a noise behind him. He turned and saw Grandpa’s car rolling toward him. He didn’t put the car in park, and now it was moving toward the lake with greater and greater speed. Doug grabbed the door handle as the car went by him, but it was too late. Into the lake it went with red taillights burning, radio playing, and headlights shining. It disappeared gracefully beneath the water. Meanwhile, on land, every conceivable feeling had overtaken Doug’s body and his mind was whirling.
It was a long walk home. How was he going to tell his grandpa that the new car sunk in the lake? How was he going to punish the young guy?
“Grandpa, I need to tell you something about your car.”
Doug said he would never forget what happened after he told his sad story. His grandpa just laid there quietly for a while. Then he said calmly, “Doug, I’m glad you weren’t hurt. You had better get some rest now.”
“The foolish mistake I made would cost this man a lot of time and money. I deserved to be punished. I was totally, hopelessly, inexcusably negligent. Yet, amazingly, I was treated with love, forgiveness, and understanding. That night my grandpa showed me something about grace. He showed me something about the God he loved and served.”
Grace is the gift of God and not of our doing.