Accelerating toward the red light

I have a new catchphrase for people who are so caught up in the moment that they engage in pointless, wasteful, and potentially destructive behavior.  It’s accelerating toward the red light.  It’s not exactly original to me, but I’m more than happy to claim any royalty rights.

You’ve seen these people.  The stereotypical example is a young male in a sportscar, but I’ve seen plenty of women, plenty of trucks, plenty of middle-age people who fit the bill.  Nothing but excess pollutants can possibly be produced by gunning one’s engine for a few hundred yards in pursuit of a pair of brake lights sitting idly at the next intersection.  But for that brief moment in time, he knew for certain who could make the most noise.  I suppose that’s an asset in the mind of some.

As I was preparing some thoughts relating to young people and the wasteful, even destructive, lifestyle they often seem to court, I asked myself what their motivation might be.  All I can figure is, they want to maximize short-term satisfaction.  If the tank empties a bit faster, or if the tires have to be changed a few thousand miles earlier, or if the brakes should fail at a remarkably unfortunate moment in time, well, that’s a problem for another day.

This is not the “sensible” behavior Paul enjoins upon us, both young (Titus 2:6) and old (Titus 2:2).  And yes, “sensible” is not always conducive to the thrill of the moment.  But the more sensible we are, the more we realize the need for planning that extends beyond the next five seconds — indeed, extends beyond this life entirely and into eternity.

The future will arrive soon enough.  I suggest, spend the intervening less on maximizing the chills up your spine and more on preparing for the biggest red light of all.