In an effort to lighten our debt load, my wife and I made the decision to sell our newish cars and get two oldish cars. My new old car is great. It's been reliable so far, and we bought it from a friend for a very reasonable price. It is a 1997 Ford Taurus station wagon in a burgundy color with a few dents and dings - a far cry from my favorite car from a few years back. That was a 2000 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T. It was fast, fun and black. I kept it in really good condition.
I have always loved keeping my cars clean. This past Christmas, I received 3 free inside-out wash coupons for a local detail shop. This came up in conversation with an acquaintance recently and I mentioned how I wanted to use one of them on my new, old car. He simply said, "Why?" He had a point. I mean, there is nothing I can do to this vehicle to raise its value. It's not going to get any prettier. But today as I drove away from the car wash, I thought to myself, "I wash my car."
If all of my actions were simply a response to what I get, how would I know that my actions are ever based on some deeper value or core belief? If I only take care of the things that are "valuable", how will I ever add any value to anything? There are so many stories in scripture that teach us a very important idea: Value is found in what we bring, not in what we take. The man who sold everything he owned to have that beautiful pearl brought that pearl's value to it in his desire. The man who buried his one bag of gold did so because he couldn't think outside his own "value box".
Here is a cool concept, what others see as enviable in our lives comes from the love and care and value that we bring to the people and things in our life. If a person sees happiness in my life, I hope that it is coming from the great worth that I've added by giving my energy to my wife, my kids, my friends, my job, my house - my car. We shouldn't love these things so others will envy us, we should bring love, give care and add value because we are thankful and have abundant love from Christ that overflows from a grateful heart. I wash my car.