At Times Life is Like a Used Car Lot

As I approach the end of each school year, I prepare for my annual office renewal ritual.  Part of the ritual is finding the left end of my desk.  You see the left end is where projects, reports, investigations, reviews, assessments, etc., etc. that have been handed my way collect over the course of a year.  It’s always nice to start the summer with the opportunity to see that my desk actually has a non-paper surface.

I was shuffling through the stack (actually that’s a very kind way of putting it, it’s more like a potential avalanche) in preparation for the renewal ritual and I was struck by the fact that it reminded me of a used car lot.  Some of the assembled clutter were reports and projects that had never started.  Most were reports and projects that started and stalled . . . started and misfired . . . started and died.  Some were reports and projects that were ‘important’ but were just sitting there rusting.  And a couple were reports and projects that had started sometime ago and were barely running at the present.

Actually what bothered me the most was the amount of time from my past year that they represented.  Although some only represented hours; others represented months of work.  None were being pursued in the present.  Other ideas had come to mind and replaced them.  Other things, for whatever reason, had become more pressing and more significant.  Consequently, these were moved to the ‘used car lot’ end of my desk.

I was feeling a bit upset about the pile, the amount of time it had removed from my life, and those who had initially assigned the project to me only to move on to other ideas and projects.  Then I was struck by 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 

“All” means “all.”  The Bible doesn’t tell us to do the easy things to God’s glory.  Or the things that make sense to us to God’s glory.  Or the things that can be done quickly.  Or the things that actually work out and are profitable.  The Bible tells us to do “all” things to God’s glory . . . even the things on the ‘used car lot’ end of my desk.

That thought has echoed through my mind in the days since the Holy Spirit first renewed it to my attention.  So once the renewal ritual starts, and I’m walking that pile to the shredder to be turned into confetti, I’ll do it to God’s glory.

Have any ‘used car lots’ in your life?  Do them to the glory of God.

About Charles McLain
I am Chair and Professor of Old Testament at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

One Response to At Times Life is Like a Used Car Lot

  1. Bob Metze says:

    Thank you for that VERY practical reminder. Helps me start my day right and makes me feel a bit better about the pile on the left side 🙂

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