In 1973, during our first year of marriage, I bought a new Ford pickup. It was an F-150 XLT fully loaded. The price was $3,732.00. I went on Ford’s website this morning and did a build for a similar truck and the price is ten times what it was in 1973. The cost of living has gone up a great deal in the last 48 years.
The price of some things in life will always remain the same. The painful price paid for unforgiveness, foolishness, fear, and denial will always cost the same no matter what generation they occur. In 1973, we bought the truck on time. As ignorant kids in our early 20’s the gleam of the lime green paint job and the new truck smell was overpowering to our undeveloped decision-making process. We never considered the effect the monthly payments, long-term interest rates, and inflated insurance costs would have on our monthly budget. Basically, we couldn’t afford what we chose to purchase. As much as I liked the truck, it was not a wise purchase. It drained the reserve of our slim newlywed budget and stayed with us for several years as we struggled with other unwise financial decisions.
All of our choices in life have and an associated cost. Lust makes its appeal with the glitter and shine of seduction. It overpowers our sensibilities when we stand in the showroom of its offering. An undisciplined life has a new car smell that draws us into a place of foolishness with garish advertisements tailored specially to our unrestrained desires. This is where we make unwise choices that have long-term, generational consequences. Like a new car smell, its appeal will quickly pass away as the burden of its debt is finally realized.
Sometimes paying cash and buying used is the best choice for our budgets. A used car or truck does not carry an inflated showroom price. You own it, it doesn’t own you. There are similarities to our spiritual life. A life lived under the tutelage of wisdom and patience – a used and proven life – makes the drive of life more enjoyable and gets us to our life appointments on time without the sorrow and regret associated with impulse decision-making. When wisdom has been allowed to make our choices, we will arrive at life’s destinations with enough emotional and spiritual reserve in hand to actually enjoy the journey and appreciate the destination once we arrive.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins