When my wife and I were first married, we lived in Beebe, Arkansas where I served as pastor of a small church and we commuted several days per week to Conway, an hour away, for classes at Central Baptist College. The chariot that carried us back and forth was a 1991 Dodge Spirit. It wasn’t fancy, but it was faithful. Until…

One day I noticed that, while I was driving normally, the car started slowing down. The engine was running. The RPM’s were normal. The battery was fine. But the speed would drop until we were only driving 15 or 20 mph, even with the gas pedal almost floored.

Some guys in our church offered to take care of the problem, so they borrowed it for a day and removed the catalytic converter, then returned it to us, having diagnosed the problem as a backup of exhaust. Nevermind that the car was now illegal and missing a fairly important part of the exhaust system.

But that didn’t fix the problem. The next time we made the long commute, the car slowed down again. This time, I wheeled into a mechanic’s shop in the edge of Conway and they put it up on the rack to check it out.

The head mechanic showed us the problem. Upon removing the front wheel, they’d found that the brake rotor was bright red, essentially on fire. The master cylinder was faulty and had been applying the front brakes the entire time we’d been driving, even though I wasn’t pushing the brake pedal at all.

All that gas and energy spent, with nothing to show for it!

And that’s exactly how far too many of us are living life.

We’re working all the hours we can, and filling the rest of our time with activity until we don’t have any time or energy left. Then we spend all the money we make trying to obtain the nicest things we can afford.

We’re spending ourselves. Our time. Our money. Our lives. The critical question is, of course… does it matter? Is it a worthy expense?

Tragically, we’re often left unfulfilled and unsatisfied, wondering what life is really all about. Just skim the book of Ecclesiastes and hear the heart of a man who had come to his final days and wondered, is this all there is?

Solomon proclaimed that all the working and grinding and hustling was just “vanity” and “more vanity.” Keep reading until the end and you’ll see that the light dawned on this seemingly cynical writer. He concluded that life does make sense in light of our being created by God for eternal purposes and not merely earthly, temporal pursuits.

The Apostle Paul once said,

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

– Colossians 3:1-2, The Message

Paul gives us, in this passage, a fairly simple way to make sure we’re maximizing the investment potential of our time and money.

Put your energy into spiritual things, for which you were created!

Don’t get to the end of this life and look back only to realize you spent all of our energy getting nowhere. Give your life to the pursuit of God’s purposes for you and you’ll never have to question the value of your investment!

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