Once upon a time, there was an old man who had always longed to be a racing driver. When he won five million in the lottery he decided to buy himself the fastest racing car in the world. The salesman tried to suggest the powerful big Ferrari wasn't suitable for driving to the shopping centre, but the old man pulled out a wad of notes and paid cash. Once a week, he opened the garage door, drove very carefully two kilometres to the supermarket, and came back with the groceries.
One day, a young woman visited him and asked to see the Ferrari. She went in and said, "My, you're a beautiful car. Tell me, what is your hope for the future?" The car said, "I just hope when he's finished with me I won't be put into one of those scrap yards." She asked if the car would like her to to take it out for a spin? The Ferrari liked the idea and said, "That would be fun."
So the woman asked the old man if he would sell her his car. She was a racing car driver and wanted to take the Ferrari out on the track. The old man said they had just refused to renew his driving license, and she was welcome to have it. She could keep it in his garage, but could he come and watch what it could do?
The next day the Ferrari felt a great roar. It shot up to sixty kilometres an hour before the first lights. This was the life! Out on the highway was even more exciting. Then it got on the race track and felt the tires screeching round the first bend at two hundred kilometres per hour. As they came past the finishing line at two-fifty, the old man was cheering wildly. Next week the young woman took the Ferrari out for their first race, and they came in second.
As she patted the car before closing the garage door, she again asked the car about hope. "Oh," it replied, "I hope we can race in the Grand Prix."
What could this parable mean? One explanation might be Paul's ending of the Epistle to the Romans. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13; see the commentary on Romans among the books on this web site).