Thursday, January 7, 2010

Leaded or unleaded?

A 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo starts at $85,000. If you want all the bells and whistles, be ready to shell out $230,000. I couldn’t find a review on the 2010 model, but here’s a quote about the 2009 version from Motor Trend. “Behind the cosmetically reshaped nose, between the all new Y-styled, LED head and taillights, is a vehicle truly worthy of such an affected alphanumeric name.”

I couldn’t even begin to tell you what that means. Nor do I care. I’m not a car girl. But I can tell you this. That’s a nice automobile. You own a vehicle like that; you take good care of it. Drive a Lamborghini Gallardo, and you’re rotating the tires, changing the oil every 3000 miles, and buying super-premium unleaded. You’re probably washing that puppy every other day, and carrying around a sham-WOW to wipe off smudges.

Isn’t it funny then, how we treat ourselves? We are the Lamborghini of all life. James 1:18 tells us “In His goodness He chose to make us His own children by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation, became His choice possession.” The International Standard Version phrases it this way, “so that we might become His most important creatures.” His most important creatures. And yet, we look everywhere else for fulfillment.

I did a little research on gasoline, and whether or not it really makes a difference if you put cheap gas in an expensive ride. Basically, the technology used in cars such as the Lambo and Porsche is advanced enough that your vehicle will still run just fine. Gary Fong, the spokesman for Porsche Cars North America says, “As far as octane level, Porsche has a double knock sensor that will prevent your car from being hurt, but the emissions will be different if you use a lower octane level.”

Interesting. The car will still run, but what comes out will be different…kind of like us. You know, God has pulled me out of some pretty deep pits. It took awhile for me to climb out, because I was in good company down there. I still keep in touch with some of my former pit-mates, and some of them still dwell there. Let me tell you something. There is a difference between them, and the crowd I run with now. You listen in on a conversation of theirs, and a conversation with the gals in my Monday morning bible study, and you’ll hear it. They still run, but their emissions aren’t much better than smog.

That’s how you recognize a true believer. By their fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 says “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Here there is no conflict with the law.”

There is a man who goes to my church that my husband and I are friends with. He led a bible study of ours for several years. And Mike and I both agree that Lee is as close to being Christ-like that an individual can ever hope to be. I’ve never seen him ruffled. He radiates love. He’ll help anyone at any hour with a joyful attitude. He has given me guidance and council through a lot of my crazy, and Mike and I both love him to pieces.

Lee exudes the fruits of the Spirit. He is the epitome of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. He is quick to listen and slow to speak. Lee also spends time every day with the Lord. He reads God’s Word, and memorizes. He seeks the Kingdom of God first, and because of that, radiates the joy and peace God promises.

I want that. I want that so much I can taste it. I’m getting there, but slowly. So slowly. The last time my former pit-mates and I hung out it wasn’t ten minutes before I had slipped back into my old role. And by the time I left, I’d decided the label on my jeans wasn’t fancy enough, and the emblem on my car not expensive enough. Praise be to God that I came to my senses quickly.

Where are you getting fulfillment? Or perhaps a better question is “where are you seeking fulfillment?” I can tell you where you won’t find it, because I’ve tried. There is no peace to be found in others’ approval. Money won’t buy you contentment, and a Louis Vuitton purse won’t make you feel worthy. Alcohol only works for a little while, and then you feel worse than before. You won’t find lasting satisfaction in a gym-sculpted body, or a gym-sculpted boyfriend (although my hubby is super hot!). If you’re looking for wholeness through your career, be careful. 2009 showed us that 25 years at a job means nothing during cutbacks, and that you are very, very expendable…no matter what your numbers say.

Jesus is the only way. Everywhere you look in this society, you hear otherwise. But Paul tells the Galatians this, “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” Galatians 6:7-8.

There is peace in simplicity…so what if you don’t have that new iPhone! There is joy in generosity. Forgo the $4 starbucks every day and start helping others in need. You certainly don’t have to look far to find them. “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” Galatians 6:9.

I don’t want what this world has to offer, it’s no good! Chasing after worldly things brings stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of worthlessness. Have you ever wondered why you never hit enough? No matter how many zeros are at the end of your paycheck, someone will always make more. Jesus is enough. His grace is enough. He is all-sufficient, all-powerful. The same God that spoke the universe into existence saw fit to create you, too. Choose Him. He’s already chosen you.

“But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1.
Glory be to God.

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