Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fine Junk

Most mornings I pass right on by what has to be the pride of Abilene's chamber of commerce, Hazel's House of Fine Junk. In fact, I've probably driven by this diva's decor dynasty no less than 200 times. But today as my car proceeded past Hazel's a thought parked in my head:

Isn't that exactly what all of us are trying so desperately to acquire so often in life? Fine Junk? I mean we would never couch it in those terms ... but in reality ... yeah, it's all junk. It doesn't matter what we are chasing after really: clothes, cars, careers, homes, status, or fame. Bottom-line is that if it is not Jesus or rightly related to revealing His kingdom, it is junk.

The apostle Paul isn't so tactful. In Philippians 3 Paul lays out a impressive portfolio of position, production, and power but concludes that it is rubbish. Now unless you're British your use of the word "rubbish" is rare. In fact, Paul didn't use that word either. Paul used the literal word for dung. As in excrement! Apparently, some translators found that word a bit offensive and toned it down a bit. Helen might call it fine junk but Paul calls it poo.

Possessions, popularity, power, prestige, pleasure ... to Paul: POO!

I don't know about you but when I see a pile of dog waste ("rubbish") on the sidewalk, I don't stop and admire it saying, "Oh, Kim, look at that! Isn't it lovely." No, you say, "Hey, hey, don't step in that!" You avoid crap, not clamor after it, compliment it, crave it!

Fine Junk. Hilarious ... yet ... sad.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said of this realization: "The call of Jesus teaches us that our relation to the world has been built on an illusion."

Compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, it's all Fine Junk.


Beaner said...

LOL!!! What a great analogy! I kind of think of myself that way - I am a piece of fine junk. But one person's garbage is HIS treasure. If not for the grace of God I would be a piece of poo on the ground. You could dress me up in Tommy Hilfiger & put me in a Stingray, but I'd still just be poo. Thankfully, He transformed me into gold. Thanks for the cool reminder Joel! I'm glad I found your blog (even if the journey was a little...well...crappy!)

Tucker said...

I dig it. I feel good right now because I haven't been able to afford an apartment or buy a car, but really, I am just heavenly minded... (not poor, nope. Living with my parents for the Lord... right)

Oh, and wasn't there that Solomon guy? He was a beatle and a bible character, right? He wrote that song "Dust in the Wind" because he was the richest bible character, but considered it all "meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (Ecc 4:12)

Those are my stories and I am sticking to them.

RPorche said...

Great post! Thanks for the laugh.

Bart Phillips said...

good stuff joel. i miss abilene...kinda. well, not really, but it's holds some incredible memories for being duct taped with my privates painted blue and thrown into jamie's front yard on westheimer. ahhh, yes!

Scott said...

you know I got much love for you is a link to my blog

Anonymous said...

Great Post! Question: Does that mean that all of the fine junk that I buy at the Christian Bookstore could be called Holy Crap? Just a question.