In the past while, there has been a Lexus commercial on television that has intrigued me – not because I’m in a position to be able to buy a Lexus (were I even interested in doing so), but because of the tag line at the end of the commercial: “Some day, your life will pass before your eyes. Make it worth watching.”
That’s an excellent tag line. But as I see it, it has nothing to do with cars and everything to do with the far more important aspects of life.
Now, I see people almost every day for whom you get the impression that the vehicles they drive might well be what the believe makes life worth watching. (Don’t get me started on the guy I see driving the Ferrari around our little town. What’s up with that? You’d never burn the carbon out of the engine!) I think Lexus has used in its commercial a line that could easily be employed by the church.
After all, what is it that most enriches life? It’s not cars, that’s for sure. In fact, it’s not things at all. It’s relationships, and especially our relationship with God. I am constantly astounded at the number of people I meet – even people who go to church, sometimes – for whom the concept of a relationship with God is brand new. (What have preachers been telling these people all these years?) Our personal relationship with God really must be the Number One Priority of our lives. Everything else will find its place when we make the Lord Priority One.
Some people balk at that notion, thinking that their spouse or kids need to come ahead of God. But that’s not God’s plan for us. He made us first to be in relationship with him. Once that relationship is firmly established, relationships with others come next, and come more healthily – especially when we understand how truly and fully loved we are by God.
Most of us know someone whose relationships are largely dysfunctional, in part because they are looking for love in all the wrong places, instead of looking for love from the One who is Love. Some look for love in Stuff (like cars), while others look for it in acceptance by others. Ultimately, though, our self-worth comes from knowing that we are deeply loved by our Creator, who longs to be in relationship with us: it’s why he created us in the first place! As Augustine said in the fourth century, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Some day, yes, your life will pass before your eyes. You want to make it worth watching, but not because of the car you drive. Make it worth watching because of the relationships that unfold in it – especially the relationship with God, who in Jesus Christ has come to give us life to the full.
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone” (John 1.4, NLT).