Like any self respecting 16 year old, I poured all of my energy and passion into my baby. I purchased the best stereo system I could afford, and spent untold hours wiring new speakers, an amplifier, and even a 12 channel equalizer into the dash. I yearned for sweet new rims, but settled for less expensive accoutrements like mud flaps, a snazzy shifter knob, seat covers, and the like. The dash controls included a small novelty switch that was labeled 'forward missiles.'
I scrubbed and polished and waxed. I vacuumed and used gallons of Armor All. I made rust look good! I tweaked and tuned the carburetor, replaced the spark plugs, and poured fuel line cleaners into the gas tank, all the while believing that I was making significant improvements to performance. In the end, The little sedan still drove like a 20 year old Datsun, cause that's mostly what it was. At its best, my little Corolla would putter around town; more quickly on the downhill slopes. Zero to sixty in less than a minute!
These days, when I see a 16 year old driving around in a $500 vehicle with thousands of dollars worth of rims on it, I smile and get flashbacks. He has a stereo system that you can hear from a block away, but his muffler is hanging by a coat hanger, dragging on the pavement. Classic!
I smile a condescending smile and think to myself, "So foolish. Pouring all of your time, your money, your energy into something so worthless."
That's when a still, small voice reminds me that I am not so different. Your new idols are more sophisticated, marginally more valuable, but you are not so different from him as you think. You still pour yourself into things of such little value.
Ouch. It's true, I am so easily tempted to pursue simple trinkets with blind passion. What about you? What are you investing your free time, your disposable income, your thought and energy and passion into? Will it last the decade?
On a bright and freezing January morning, my faithful Corolla tragically died. I was navigating a stretch of I-75 in Dayton, and the radiator froze solid. The engine overheated, and one of the pistons fuzed itself right into the block. I was devastated by the loss- not so much the loss of a vehicle- cheap vehicles are easily found. That day I lost all of the time, energy, and money that I had poured into my rusty little idol. And none of it was recoverable.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." -Matthew 6:19-21