Traveling the highways from Devil’s Tower Wyoming back to Portland I noticed a selection of roadside attractions including mining equipment displays, a drive-thru Grizzly Bear Experience, and the EBR-I Atomic Museum.
But the ultimate lure to get people to stop the car is missing, a place to watch cars being crushed flat as a pancake! NEXT EXIT…THE CAR CRUSHER!
Is there a child or adult that wouldn’t like to watch a car being picked up by a magnet or claw, then to be dropped into a slot like bread in a toaster, and loudly crunched and compacted into a flattened brick no taller than a four-year-old?
Oh yeah! This is a sure-fire hit!
For added drama it could be adjacent to an automobile museum or new car dealership mega lot. If that were the case, a wider view would be had of the products’ life cycle.
New cars start out so shiny and so exciting, and they smell so wonderful. Yet every new vehicle will eventually become something to be crushed and recycled. The whole process could be seen in full disclosure. But the crusher is the real draw, the big show to pull us in from the interstate.
“Can we stop, can we, can we?!”
It is telling too.
What do we truly value?
Is it our home, our possessions, the boat, or RV?
Out on the highway I see the Harley-Davidson pilgrimage to Sturgis, South Dakota. It is a once-a-year meet up for anyone who owns this brand of motorcycle. Everyone there united by a brand and the lifestyle it seems to promise. Some make the journey on their motorcycles, while others trailer their prized two-wheeled possession to the site.
On the morning that I hiked the trails at Devil’s Tower National Monument the upper parking lot was filled with a congregation of Corvette owners, there to show and shine. Again, these people were connected by their love of a brand, a brand that conveys a lifestyle or an ideal to be purchased and once done, you are “in”.
Everyone present were taking turns enjoying one another’s car and sharing the pride of ownership. It was a beautiful morning, perfect for their gathering.
It’s great how we find commonality and ways to connect with a wider population who are like-minded. It feels good to fit “in”. So, we go all-in.
But do we have the same connection with the church, the Body of Christ?
It is important to consider.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly thingsColossians 3:2
Do we place more value on a brand, a lifestyle, or product than on what has real, eternal value?
Referring to that roadside attraction, the ‘Car Crusher’… It places finality on a product, an absolute devaluation to zero. The once pristine and shiny new car is destined to be crushed, it will happen. We can shine it, show it, pamper it, and base our leisure activities around it.
But it is only a product.
The lifestyles we BUY in to end when we cannot afford them. Brand names lose their validity when those icons go bankrupt or become mired in litigation. Everything we manufacture or create is ‘crushable’.
I am not proclaiming that our motorcycles, sporting goods, cabin cruisers, or Cabo San Lucas vacation destinations are wrong. But they can become hollow pursuits if they take center stage on the altar of our hearts. Check yourself with care, and I will do so as well.
If my walk with Christ (and yours) does not place God as the ultimate object of affection and the centerpiece of everything, there is a problem. In other words, what remains is ‘crushable’.
And no one wants to take that exit!