Thursday, September 18, 2014

People are (still) trustworthy

People are (still) trustworthy

I may sound old saying this, but it seems like people are becoming less trustworthy. I’m not sure if its our decreased human interaction or what. Since I’ve been feeling like this, the other day I figured I’d do a test to see if people are still trustworthy.

I had an old iPhone 4 and figured instead of just letting it be my new paperweight or allowing the kids to use it as a hockey puck I’d sell it on Craigslist. Now I love to sell on Craigslist and honestly, I love to buy too. There are some interesting people on Craigslist so I always get a kick.

I list the phone and wait… and wait… and wait… Finally I receive and email from a man interested in buying the phone. We email back and forth and the following day he calls me. I call him back and we begin talking about the phone. Now, he is basically asking me every question I’ve already given an answer to in the ad but its all good.

So he finally wants to see the buy the phone. He asks if I can meet him at the nearest Verizon store. The way my day, and week, were shaping out it was going to be at least 48 hours before I could make this happen. We talked about options, I had swim lessons. More options to meet, I had work. Finally I tried to convince him to stop by my house, see the phone, pay me, go to Verizon and if it didn’t work I’d give him his money back. His response: “My wife said I have to go to the store to make sure if works.”

We kept talking and I kept trying to convince him into my plan. I was trying to convince him to trust me. Finally I said: “I’m a pastor” but it didn’t work. I needed to change my tactic and stop asking him to trust me. I said: “Are you a trustworthy man?” He was shocked and responded: “Yes (hesitantly). Yes, I am trustworthy (with more confidence)”.

I changed the plan. I said: “How about you stop at my house, see the phone and if you like it take it to the Verizon store. If it works, come to my house and pay me.” It was a crazy idea. Actually, after I said it I was shocked. He like my idea and wanted to leave me with a check. I declined and said: “Let’s trust each other on this.”

He took the phone, I went to swim lessons. While at swim lessons he called and said it all worked and he would drop the money at my house while I was away. When I returned home I found the exact amount stuffed in an envelope with the simple words “Thank you” written on it.

So if you’re wondering if people are still trustworthy, they are.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I'm not buying an iPhone 6

Normally I would be scrambling right now.

I'd be listing my wife's iPhone 5 on craigslist or eBay.
I'd be on Verizon's site looking for my upgrade date.
I'd be on Amazon trying to find the best new case I could find.
I'd be looking at our bank account, thinking where I could get the money needed to buy the new iPhone.

But I'm not doing any of those things today.

Today I’m planning train rides, checking seat locations and thinking about ways I can hang out with my kids because I’m not buying a new iPhone.

Now this is all a new concept for me. Consumerism runs in my blood just like the next guy but over the last year (since I upgraded to the iPhone 5S) things have changed in my life. Let me share a few catalysts to this change.

Conversations with my wife
At some point in the last year Charity and I had a conversation I don’t think I’ll forget. She said something to the effect of my love for new gadgets or toys. The comment wasn’t mean spirited or rude, it was just factual. I had the newest iPhone, the newest GoPro and was accessorizing. The comment stuck with me. She was right. I was so focused on what I could get and missed out on what we could give. My other iPhone, the iPhone 5, was in perfect condition when I upgraded. My GoPro, the same. Her comments began the evaluation process in me.

This summer we preached a series through the parable teachings of Jesus. One message in particular I taught about Investing in Eternity. As I studied the obscure, and difficult passage in Luke 16, it became obvious to me that Jesus is calling me to invest in eternity. The investing in eternity He was talking about was with my money.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13
I’ve been reading a book this summer that has been a refreshing change of pace. Its been a while, over 2 years, since I found a book I couldn’t put down. The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski has been helping me to contemplate slowing down, caring more for people and how I spend my money. You could almost boil all of this down and say, “Its caused me to think about the future more, mainly heaven and God.”

When I add up the sum of these three factors it makes it so easy to delete the emails from Verizon about an early upgrade for being a loyal customer and spend more time investing my time and money in what really matters to me.

That’s why I’m not buying an iPhone 6.