In a world filled with manipulative advertising, targeted marketing, and sales gimmicks, the quest for truth is often times elusive. The struggle is real! One has to ask, “Is it really worth an extra dollar for a bag of Wonder Bread buns when you can buy the Best Value brand for $0.99?” Or should you buy that expensive sofa at the fancy furniture store when Big Lots has a more comfortable one for a fraction of the price? Often times we find ourselves trying to discern what is true so that we can make an educated decision.
I currently own a vehicle that requires premium gasoline. I love everything about the car. It handles the road to my liking, it has all the options that I want, and it’s extremely reliable. All is wonderful…that is, until I pull into the gas station. With our escalating fuel prices, it seems every time, without fail, I find myself standing in front of the pump staring at three numbers: 87, 89, and 93. What a dilemma! I’d much rather pay the price associated with the 87 octane, but I know my owner’s manual tells me to use the 93. Typically, I stand there a few seconds, weighing my next move. After careful consideration, most often times I do the right thing and push the Premium 93 Octane button. However, I must admit, there are times when I can’t pass up the temptation of the lower priced 89 (or, dare I even say, the 87 😳).
As I glared at the pump the other day, contemplating what to choose, I couldn’t help but ponder how many times we are faced with this same quandary in our daily lives. I mean, I know the manufacturer states that the vehicle requires the costly 93 octane fuel…BUT, I’ve used the cheaper 87 before and guess what? It still runs! So why use the expensive stuff when the car continues operating on the “watered-down” version, right?
Not long ago, I became so convinced that my vehicle could get around just fine without using the premium fuel that I decided to do a little research. After reading through forum after forum, I found out that, sure, my car may run if I fill it with something it wasn’t designed for, but there will soon be complications. It may start off with a small loss of MPG. Then down the road, I may begin to experience a loss in vehicle performance. Eventually, the manufacturer installed high-performance engine may begin to experience issues and, chances are high that, at some point the vehicle may be rendered totally useless! I may not notice big issues immediately, but eventually the choice to not heed the manufacturer’s guidelines will prove incredibly costly.
As I reflected further, I couldn’t help but draw the parallel between my gasoline options and the decisions we are faced with every day in our own personal lives. How many times are we tempted to fill the voids in our lives with cheap thrills this world has to offer? Convincing ourselves we can get by day-by-day on something other than what our creator designed for us? Sure, it may work for a period of time, but unexpected problems are sure to arrive not too far down life’s highway.
Lord, help us to not be tempted by low-end imitations and flashy substitutes, but rather fill our lives daily with your all-sufficient, all-sustaining, life-giving Word!