Sometimes it’s the little things that get me started thinking, This time it was eating at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. I love the food, but I’ve always had stomach problems afterwards. I thought at first that there might be an ingredient bothering me. Then I determined that it was just too much food being served—and eaten! I tried taking half back to my hotel room, and still had problems. Last week I determined that if I ordered just one chicken enchilada (one of my favorites!) a la carte (along with some chips and salsa, of course!), I’m fine. I can now confess that I was so happy to figure this out that I went two nights in a row! This lead me to pondering on the saying that “less is more”.

For the last few months I have been researching cars. With all of the additional driving that I have been doing, it was time to retire my eight year old Camaro. I really enjoy muscle cars, and it was my full intention to replace the Camaro with another muscle car. My usual pattern is to buy a (hopefully) good used car. This time I wanted the warranty. To save a little money, I was mostly looking at new 2017 models. Many people—including my wife—tell me how much they hate shopping for cars. I fall into the minority of people who loves shopping for cars!

I designated last Friday as my “car expedition” day. While doing my research, I found myself torn between getting a “fun” car and a “practical” car. Armed with my research (neatly recorded on a form that I created), I drove to Sierra Vista to go shopping. I picked Sierra Vista because of the variety of lots, and they still had quite a few 2017 models (if you are looking for a truck, there are still a few 2016 models on one of the lots). After a long day of shopping, I narrowed my choices down to three. I then eliminated one of the three. The two contenders were opposites in nature, reflecting my desire for both “fun” and “practical”. One was a 2017 Ruby Red Mustang with a turbo four-cylinder engine, and the other was a black (there was a fancy name, but it was just a flat black) 2017 hybrid Hyundai Ioniq Blue. For those who know me, which direction do you think that I went?

As I tried to decide what to do, I kept thinking about “less is more”. The Ioniq Blue (which isn’t necessarily blue) was less expensive, had a longer warranty, and had double the fuel economy. The Mustang, though, was beautiful! Both dealerships gave the same appraisal for trading in my Camaro, and I could afford either car. I parked my car, and spent some time making a decision. I was  an “inch” away from buying the Mustang when I decided to buy the black Ioniq Blue (blue, or any color other than black, would have been good!). There actually was another Ioniq Blue in stock, but it was being test driven by someone else. It was dark gray with green and purple metallic in the paint. When I pulled into the dealership, there was the gray Ioniq Blue. My salesman (who did an excellent job!) came out of the front door pointing at the car with a big smile.  The woman who had driven it told them that she would come back on Monday to buy it. I sure hope that she likes the color black, because the gray Ioniq Blue with the wonderful metallic is now parked in my driveway!

I’ve continued thinking all week-end about how I use my resources. I needed a dependable car. I wanted a muscle car. I was concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy a car with low horse power. Over the week-end I have already driven more than three hundred miles. This car is very different from my Camaro, but I like it a lot (for full transparency, I also have a classic car which is a 1968 Mustang California Special. When I need to hear the roar of a muscle car, I can still get my fix!). I have not had any buyer’s remorse with my purchase. This is turning out to be a case where “less is more”. This feeling was confirmed when it only took 5.411 gallons of gas to fill my car back up!

How we use our resources determines what we have available for other purposes. This is true for our personal resources, and it is true for our church resources. Two resources that immediately come to mind are time and money. Do we ever say (and believe) that we don’t have enough time or money?  If we take a close look at how we spend what we do have, we might find that we have way more than we ever thought possible!

Your brother on the journey, Mark

 

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