The Power of "Instead"
by Carl Caton
After driving home from work last week, I pulled into the driveway, parked, and reached for the door handle. To my surprise, it broke off into my hand. I say surprise but it really shouldn't be as the truck is a 1996 model with 220,000 miles. The whole affair struck me as funny. It's not every day that a door handle comes off into your hand. I also
humorously pondered that every car door has two handles - one inside and one outside.
Who needs two door handles when one will do? I found that it has been quite easy to simply roll down the window and open the door from the outside. But this is one of those watershed moments when you
consider whether you should buy a new vehicle - or not.
I have been stubbornly resistant to buying a new truck because of a personal crusade to make a point - not that anyone is listening. I guess you might say that I'm trying to make a point in my own mind.
I admit that I frequently gaze upon another man's truck with a certain covetousness. In particular, I love the art form of a five hundred pound grille guard which serves no real purpose other than to reduce fuel mileage. But it looks... manly. And I love the sound of a Ford
Power Stroke (R) diesel engine clattering under the hood. But do I need any of the above, like, really need? No.
Now, before I share the details of my personal struggle, let me say that I
believe that people should own reliable cars. We live in a large city and I would never let my wife drive a car that would leave her stranded. That would simply be foolish. Nor should any of us drive something that is inherently unsafe. I'm radical about using top quality Michelin tires. And if I was an important executive at a corporation downtown or if my work required that I exhibit a reasonable level of professionalism, I would certainly not say any of the following. But my office is three minutes from my home.
My personal crusade has been to identify good things that can be done - instead. We have far too little imagination of what we can do...
instead. My point is that we live in a world where a single dollar will provide clean drinking water for someone in South America for ten years. A single dollar.
I know you can do the math but this statement is worth repeating aloud - again and again:
With forty thousand dollars, I can buy a new pickup - or INSTEAD - I can provide
clean drinking water to forty thousand
people for ten years. Those numbers are a little staggering so let me phrase this differently.
With forty thousand dollars, I can buy a new pickup - or INSTEAD - I can
sponsor twenty orphans for three years,
With forty thousand dollars, I can buy a new pickup - or INSTEAD - I can provide support to
help 2,500 kids learn to read and write,
With forty thousand dollars, I can buy a new pickup - or INSTEAD - I can provide funds to help
rescue five hundred teenage girls out of slavery,
With forty thousand dollars, I can buy a new pickup - or INSTEAD - I can provide four thousand life saving
With forty thousand dollars, I can buy a new pickup - or INSTEAD - I can provide the amazing
Proclaimer to four hundred villages in order that thousands might hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
... you get the idea.
With that in mind, let me ask the question that we have all heard but is still
relevant: What would Jesus do? I think He would roll down the window and open the door from the outside.
A great example of INSTEAD: Advent
More creative ideas for INSTEAD:
World Vision Gift Catalog
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