A man has a rundown vintage car in his garage. He wants to enter it into a car show in town. The car works enough to get him 50 miles down the road, but not for long drives. The man starts to design and remodel the car. He buys the best tires to put on it, gets it a new paint job, puts new leather seats in it, replaces the glass, and shines the car. After he is finished with the job, the man takes it to the car show. While there, many people come to him and ask about the car. He ends up winning first place for the car, a beautiful trophy. On the way home, the car stops working about a mile down from his house. He decides to push the car up to the house and into his garage. The car sits in his garage for the next month.
A friend out of town comes over and visits with him one day. While in the living room, he sees the trophy from the car show sitting on a shelf. He asks to see the car. The man takes him out to the garage and his friend asks to take the car out for a spin.
The man says, “Well, the engine doesn’t work.”
The friend asks, “Why have you not fixed the engine?”
And the man says, “The engine was already a little weak while I was working on the exterior, but it didn’t need to be fixed to win. It just needed to look nice.”
The friend says, “Okay, let me ask a question. If you were to pick between the trophy or the car to save in a fire, what would you pick?”
He says, “The car. It’s worth more”.
The friend says, “So if the car is worth more to you than the trophy, why did you spend so much time and money to get the trophy than to get a working car?”
The man says, “Well, at the time of the competition, it didn’t need to work. It needed to look good. I was mainly focused on making it look nice to win because those were the requirements to win.”
He asks, “Why did you want to win?”
The man says, “Because I wanted to impress my community and be known by them.”
His friend then says, “But do they know you? Have any of them spoken to you since then? Have any of them come over to your house?
The man says no.
The friend says, “No because they don’t really know you. They weren’t interested in getting to know you. They know your car. All they know about you is that you’re the guy with the nice car.”
We can get so focused on the desires that our hearts are after that we lose sight of the long-lasting impacts. We will do anything to get the things we desire, but at the end of the day, the worldly things won’t fully satisfy us. The car didn’t work in the long run because the engine was not ever worked on.
God wants the best for you, and the best for you starts with you and God. He wants to transform you from the inside out. You can spend all your time trying to look the best to impress others or perform the best at your job to get the promotion. However, trying to fix everything on the outside will not help the inside of you grow into who God has created you to be until you decide to desire God more than worldly things.
Most of our desires are not bad, but it is when they become idols in our lives when it becomes a bigger issue. We can spend time trying to get a better job or trying to find good friendships. But, I encourage you to spend more time desiring God, seeking God, and abiding in God than time on the other desires of your heart.
While the trophy was beautiful, it does not have much purpose other than to sit on the shelf and look pretty. However, a car has much more purpose to it. It was designed to help humans be more effective and efficient in our lives, being a mode of transportation. When we begin to acknowledge that our lives have much more purpose than to look shiny and impress, we begin to change. Our hearts begin to change, desiring to produce character & fruit in our lives.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – Ephesians 5:15-17
If your heart longs to be known, know that you are fully known by God who deeply loves you. Know that He wants you to come to Him with all your thoughts, worries, doubts, fears, and desires. He sees you.
If your heart longs to be known, wouldn’t you rather be known as the women who loves God more than the women with a nice figure? Wouldn’t you rather be known as the man who desires to know God more than the guy with a nice car? Wouldn’t you rather be known as the person who loved people well, served passionately, and discipled other believers around you?
for, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” – 1 Peter 1:24-25
We get to choose what road we want to go down. We may not always see what God wants for us or how His plan is better than our own, but we have this truth that His plans are best for us. It might be a road less traveled, but it is eternally worth it.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9