yesterday, i learned that in consumer surveys americans rank 'fuel efficiency' just below the 'number of cup holders' among factors they consider when purchasing a new vehicle. anyone want to argue we are a christian nation? not if christians are required to be stewards of all creation.
well, okay. i admit that a difference of fuel efficiency plus or minus 20 mpg, does not amount to much more than a drop in an ocean-sized problem (so-called greenhouse gases and their connection to climate change on earth).
still, it bothered me when i heard the fact. it seems that regardless of where one comes down on the "what would jesus drive?" debate, living faith as a way of life would require fuel efficiency to rate very high among factors to be considered when purchasing a car, and not simply because the price of gas has now risen high enough to pinch our wallets. exactly because in our acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord, we are called to love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. when and what we drive says something about both.
full disclosure: i drive a toyota corolla station wagon (about 28 mpg) and a honda odessy (ditto). i preached a sermon last fall on the 9th commandment and said that i coveted my sister-in-law's cool new car. everyone could relate, but when they found out she had a new honda civic hybrid, they laughed at their assumption that it would be a porche or something splashy. those of you who have read martin luther know his often used phrase 'the presumption of righteousness' and that describes me all too often. our greatest theologians have also been subtle psychologists, understanding the multitude of ways we seek to justify ourselves and so thwart god's desire to have us trust completely, pouring our life out for others without measuring. can i drive less, and commit to fuel efficency, and work for the care of all creation without having to mark it in my little 'god must like me cause look what i did' book? hmm.
anon, and +peace