So this dude shows up on the TV screen and he’s like, “Yeah, this is a teapot I discovered at a garage sale four years ago and I really liked the painting of the man playing the bag pipes.”
It’s a scene from Antiques Road Show.
Then this other guy, the appraiser, looks at the teapot and says, “Wow! Well, actually, what you have here is an extremely rare Douglas McIntyre teapot. Douglas McIntyre was a Scotsman and the son of a cobbler who made shoes for wealthy aristocrats. McIntyre learned the porcelain trade from an old Viking technique. No one else during McIntrye’s time made teapots like this because they didn’t know this technique. So his teapots were very sought after in his day by all the upper-class gentry of Scotland – in fact, all of Great Britain, and even as far east as China. If you don’t mind my asking, how much did you pay for it?”
The owner replies, “Well, the funny thing is that I didn’t pay ANYTHING for it. The lady at the sale saw how much I liked it and she just gave it to me.”
The appraiser gasped! “You got it for free!? Unbelievable!! Well, do you want to know how much this teapot would fetch at auction today? In the perfect condition we see it in here, I would conservatively guess this teapot bringing in $2.8 MILLION dollars. Another McIntyre recently sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $2.5 million and this is in far better condition than that one.”
The SURPRISE of Antiques Road Show is what makes it so amazing. And even though this story didn’t happen (I made it up), I bet you found yourself excited at what the appraiser said (and now ANGRY at me because it’s not true :). We love the story of the cheap item that is actually worth a fortune!
But the thing we never hear about on Antiques Road Show is the story of the person who SOLD the valuable items for pennies or, crazier, gave them away. Can you imagine selling something at a garage sale that you think is trash but later realizing it’s worth millions? How must that person feel?
Oddly, I don’t think we need to strain to understand the emotion.
We all give ourselves away. Every day. We give ourselves over to eating too much, drinking too much, sexing too much, socializing too much. We give ourselves over to gaming too much, gambling too much, working too much. And those “buyers” don’t pay a cent for us. We willing give ourselves to them.
People like to call those activities vices (or more dramatically, sins), but let’s be basic in our thinking. When we “sell” ourselves to these “buyers,” we feel good at the initial sale when we put some money in our pocket. But we always end up feeling cheated by them. Why? Because we are VALUABLE BEYOND ALL UNDERSTANDING! They’re not worthy of us!
I don’t care what you look like, what you struggle with, or how you’ve failed. You’re a Ferrari. Because you’re made in God’s image. YOU are the freaking Viking-technique teapot. God says, “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” (Isaiah 43:4).
In a world where we’re consistently made to feel cheap and worthless and forgotten, God sits as not only our Father, but the Chief Appraiser. And how does he value us? Jesus said, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7). We’re not forgotten. We’re not cheap. And we’re not worthless. And so we need to stop giving ourselves away to things that aren’t remotely deserving.
Can you see satan laughing!? “LOOK!” he snickers to the demons on a TV show in hell called “Human Road Show.” He says, “I just got this human named James for nothing! He’s worth a fortune and he just gave himself to me because I pretended I was interested in him… Yeah, interested in DESTROYING him!” NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
FLEE FROM THE EVIL OF THIS WORLD, brothers and sisters! Get away, get away, get away. The greatest responsibility we have is ourselves. May we not give our lives away for a pittance!
“If I lose myself I lose it all.” (Naughty Boy – Runnin’)