the rise in the price of oil since 1947   




the rise in the price of oil since 1947



there was an article in today’s local paper about how gas prices have recently plummeted here in the louisville area. plummeted all the way down to 3.65 a gallon for the cheap stuff.

on a recent trip back to my parents house in tennessee, i showed my wife a book where i had documented the price of various things my senior year of high school. a gallon of gas was something in the neighborhood of $1.19. that was pretty handy when i was driving a gas guzzling 1979 mercury cougar.

i went from that to a tiny dodge neon that used much less gas, but i still remember cringing at the thought of being the one to drive to jackson with a group of friends. even w/ a 4 cylinder and a 12 gallon tank, that seemed like a lot of money.

then in the summer of 2000, i bought a dodge ram (V8). i remember filling it up for the first time and feeling as if i would pass out when i saw the total getting close to $40.

these days, i usually drive an 11 yr. old volkswagen. it is a 6 cylinder 5 speed, a lot better on gas than any other car i have ever owned. when i last filled it up, it cost over $40. i didn’t like it, but i didn’t melt down like i nearly had 8 years ago when spending the same amount to fill up a much bigger truck with a much bigger engine and a much bigger gas tank.

i remember when gas first went over the $2 mark. everyone was up in arms. at the time i was driving about 15 minutes to get to work and i kept an eye on every gas station i passed trying to find the cheapest place.
then the price hit $2.50, then $3 a gallon. i was convinced that all of the e-mails calling us to boycott certain companies or not to buy gas on certain days of the week would  be passed into law.

when gas went over four dollars earlier this year, my wife and i realized that nearly half of my paycheck was going towards putting gas in our two vehicles. (i pastor a church 30 miles from our house, and work a part time job in jeffersonville indiana- 30 miles or so round trip 4 days a week)

now gas is at $3.65 my inclination is to feel a bit like rejoicing. the thought of gas being closer to $3 than to $4 seems like a possibility worth dreaming for.

now don’t get me wrong, i am very grateful for the drop in price, but how did i go from righteous indignation just a year or so ago over gas prices that now i would gladly accept – nay rejoice over?

how quickly what once infuriated us can become acceptable, if not appreciated.

i notice that same tendency with sin in my own life. when certain thoughts, attitudes, or actions that are sinful first pop-up in my life, or make an appearance after a long absence, my shame and repentance seem to come quickly. “how could i have said/thought/done that?” i seek prayer from others, read my bible more, and seek out ways to avoid those sins by any means necessary.

but those sins that linger, that i give in to with a bit more frequency, they are the ones that after time i am tempted to rename “liberty” instead of sin. i can think of many “reasons” why for me, this isn’t sin. it is self-expression, a reward for a hard time, or deserved for a host of reasons.

what once was so crippling by the sheer weight of guilt and the knowledge of acting in a way that is contrary to the will of god and contributed to the agony of christ’s death becomes the friend that everyone warns you to stay away from, but you spend all of your energies explaining how they are just not understood.

what things in your life have you gotten so used to that you no longer see them for the potential danger to your soul, or outright sin that they are? the way you speak (language/words, gossip, or hurtful remarks), the media you watch, the value you that you place on “things”? the list is amazingly long of all the ways that we can do things through either commission or omission that violates what god wants from us. (or that we would *never* want to admit to when in mixed company)

it is said that one hunting method used by eskimos is to dip a razor sharp knife into fresh blood, then stick it blade up in the snow. when a wolf smells the blood, he comes up to the knife and starts licking the fresh blood. his lust for fresh blood is so consuming that he doesn’t notice that soon the blood he is devouring is his own. he literally bleeds to death drinking his own blood, ignoring the pain because the pleasure of satisfying his own cravings is greater than the intense pain and awareness that he is killing himself.

may god make us so keenly aware of sin in our lives that we never grow calloused to the deadly poison of sin that masquerades as fleeting pleasure.

we may not be able to control the price of gasoline, but we can activley seek to  “not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds…” 

[recommended reading: the mortification of sin (abriged version) by john owen]