Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Features


For those who follow me on social media and read the daily minutiae of my life, you might recall my family having some...uhh....interesting adventures with our vehicles as of late. I won't retell those here, but for the sake of everyone being on the same page, know that we had to send our van to the eternal destination of all vehicles once a youth worker has owned them for more than 15 minutes. 

The price to fix it was going to equal the price we paid for it. So, voila, we became a 1-vehicle family. Unless you count my scooter. In that case we are a 1 & 1/4 vehicle family. If only I could add a side-car to the scooter, it would be so much more sensible. 

All of this was met by cool and calm in our family. There was only one minor problem. I had two separate meetings out of town. This required renting a car. The rental place asked what I desired. I told them the cheapest thing they had would suffice. Extra features would not be necessary. I'm a simple guy with simple tastes, right?

Both cars were decidedly of the save-on-fuel variety. The makes and models don't matter as much, because one had features and the other....not.

The first rental car, right on the center of the dash, said it was powered by Microsoft. This made me feel good, because in the event of a crash, all I would have to do is simply close all the windows and reopen them. If something wasnn't working right, I could simply restart the whole thing, right? 

Aside from my confidence of the car to work, it was a good ride. Besides the normal features, it provided an automatic sync to my iPod and a great sound system. Plus, it provided a smooth and comfortable ride. 

The very next week, I drove a rental car made by the other guy. This car was shaped like something from the 80's, had a funky smell and did not provide anything but the most basic of car-bilities. Yes, I had said I only needed it to drive one day. But I had become accustomed to the features of the other car. 

This second car made me feel bad, and I am not referring to the back pain it caused me. I felt bad because anytime I drove faster than 45 mph, it sounded like I was working the hamsters too hard. Yes, I got from point A to point B (and back again), but what happened to everything that made me comfortable?

My first rental car had some nice features. And if we're honest with ourselves, we are all about the features. The car doesn't need to go from 0 to 60 in less time than it takes to search for a silly YouTube video, but doesn't it make you feel better knowing it can? We don't need a DVD player to unfold from the ceiling, but it sure does make those long trips easier. People traversed the U.S. without A/C in their covered wagons, but who wants to live like that? 

We like features. This may be silliness when discussing what you want in a vehicle, but this becomes dangerous with our faith. Our desire for features tends to divide when all we need is Jesus. I didn't need features. I simply needed a car. 

When it comes to our faith, we don't need smoke and lights. We need Jesus. Your church offers a juggler for serving communion? I could see where that might be fun. Your greeters offer moist towelettes for wiping off your hands? Nice touch, though I would argue a warm wash cloth might impress me more. Does your church offer lasers and motion backgrounds while experiencing the rock-n-worship? I'm all for that!

My argument isn't against all the features. I may even try to introduce some of these. My case is for Christ. Jesus is all we need! 

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