One of the biggest booms in the holiday vehicle industry in the UK has been in the recovery of old VW camper Vans. These vans used to be languishing in old barns as chicken coops, or sat in back yards as old sheds, but now have been resurrected and are becoming regularly seen on our roads with a whole industry dedicated to keeping them on the road and a whole community owning them, supporting them and writing about them on the web. You can hire them for a retro style holiday, they have been turned into wedding and funeral cars, I have seen one as an Ice-cream van and another as limo’. Wherever a T2 owner pulls up others will gather, some to admire them, others to remember their days in them or to compare notes about owning them and running them.
I have recently been to Brazil where these things are still made, they call them Combi’s and they have, well, a combination of uses. Over there they are a utility vehicle and everywhere, and they are also being made in a RHD version for the UK market, where they are sought after.
It is not an easy task owning an old VW T2 Campervan. The one I had caught fire at a set of traffic lights, (not major but enough to make me wonder a bit). It would decide whether it was going to start or not, and keeping it going involved a sort of mechanical diplomacy that any national ambassador would marvel at. Holidays for Lynn and me were a bit exciting; would it actually let us go, would we get there, would we get back, would we still be talking to each other afterwards?
These old, once forgotten vans are now making a real comeback.
As someone who is a bit old and grey myself, and can remember the original VW-T2 camper, I take a lot of comfort in this comeback, I still have the potential to have a purpose in Gods eyes. The young people still need the wisdom of those of us who perhaps were once seen as a bit past it, not modern enough. You and I, we have an opportunity to become useful to God once again as mentors to the young men, encouragers of the new men of God. We don’t need to be put aside, left to moulder. But we do need to be relevant, just as the old camper is relevant. It has a real benefit to those who use them and so must we.
The Bible has a lot to say about how God uses the older people.
“But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock”” Psalm 92