Friday, November 8, 2013

Stupid Reasoning University Course Descriptions

I need a new car. Or so I had decided one day. My car is almost 9 years old, and in very good shape. But my cd player is unpredictable. Sometimes it's fine; other times it won't eject or load cds. Then it gives me a message saying, "Error." The only thing I can do is turn the cd player off, turn the car off and hope for the best the next time I turn the car on.

Well, this one day it was acting up, so I couldn't play any cds. I decided I needed a new car. I've already picked out the car I want when it's time to get a new car; the problem is, it really isn't time. We have a "Plan" and the plan entails paying off credit card debt. No new car until the debt is paid; hopefully, by the end of next year. But that day, the small portion of maturity my brain had allotted to the situation had been clouded over with greed, lust and, quite honestly, stupidity. What kind of thinking is this? "My cd player doesn't work, so I need a new car." (Stupid Reasoning 101).

I went on the website and "built" my car. I chose all my options, including how many months I chose to pay (Stupid Reasoning 201) and how much I would put down (Stupid Reasoning 301). I reasoned that my car is still worth a good chunk of change, since it's not that old (Stupid Reasoning 401). I sat back excitedly and admired my new car...and the would have behooved me to receive an "Error" message across my computer at that point, like the one my cd player gave me. I believe at that moment, I graduated from Stupid Reasoning University with a degree in Stupidity.

Stupid Reasoning Masters Class:  "I can get X amount for my car, which will enable me to put X amount down, and pay off X amount of the credit card debt. Yes, I will still have credit card debt, but not as much. And I will save on any expenses that would come with having an older car."

Finally, Sensibility, a friend of the Holy Spirit, rang the bell...opened the door... "Helloooo? ...Anyone home?...Mind if I come in?"  Oh, it's only you, I thought...Sensibility. I can't talk to you now. I'm admiring my new car! See? "Oh, that's very nice, but...what happened to 'The Plan'?"

Oh, yeah. That. Hmmm...

"And, did you ever consider just buying a new cd player? It would cost a lot less. Oh, and, uh...did you stop to...uh..pray?" Suddenly, that shiny new car didn't look so good. I quickly closed the window (literally...the window on the computer) on that idea. 

The funny thing is, the whole time that I was building and admiring my car, trying to figure out the financial seesaw of payments, I felt more conflicted and confused than excited. I didn't have peace. When I closed the window, and thought about how far I've come in my financial journey and thought about how well "The Plan" was working for us, that peace returned. 

We need to pay attention to those feelings in us when they come. They are like spiritual barometers. Confusion and conflict are not attributes of God, so we should not borrow them. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (I Cor 14:33). He longs to give us peace. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you (John 14:27).

If we truly desire to walk with Jesus, to become more like Him, we need to be willing to let go of our earthly desires, our greed and our lusts. We need to be satisfied and content with and thankful for what we've been given. To always discern the difference between want and need. To pay attention to those nudgings and to never lock the door on Sensibility!

For the record, I have not yet bought the new cd player. Oddly, it works fine now...for the most part.

Blessings Along the Path,

Video of the Day
Oh, the Temptation: The Marshmallow Challenge

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