I have a passion for old cars (primarily pre-1972 Chevys, Corvettes, and Jeeps) and have bought and sold a few cars per year over the past 15 years. I find myself almost "addicted" to searching for the next great deal or barn find and spend hours on the internet/phone identifying, tracking (maintaining a detailed list), and contacting potential sellers. I would love to establish a business from this passion, but I continually question myself on whether this is a passion or a distraction from my real God-ordained purpose. Basically, I haven't been able to discern whether God has given me this passion to help people (I have the gift of serving) or whether this is a self-centered materialistic way of Satan keeping my focus away from Christ and the good plans He has for me?
Thanks in advance for any and all wise counsel!
If your passion has intrinsic value to others and isn't morally reprehensible, then why question it?
If you're really stumped, Paul writes in Philippians 4:6 to simply pray about it. You'll receive the guidance you need to move forward. The key, however, is to not question Biblical guidance. James warns against that in verse 8 of chapter 1.
You really need to check out Rob Kibbe (here on 48Days.net also) His site and business is: www.themusclecarplace.com and also www.carsforaliving.com I highly recommend you check him out. He also had a couple of fantastic podcasts. Yes, Rob is a Christian also.
Now, you could also look at this just replace money with cars and see how this fits. Basically, "It is the love of money that is evil, not money itself. Money is a tool." Are you severing others or are you serving the cars? Are you helping, guiding and teaching others about cars in a positive manner?
Zig Ziglar says, "If you help enough people get what they want, you can get what you want."
Just my thoughts, go for the cars. I am a car guy also.
I had to double check the name to make sure I wasn't reading my own post. I've told people I'm addicted to Craigslist. Anyway, if you have a way to make some cash from this, please share. I just finished an auto mechanics class at my local community college and am signing up for another. I will also be searching for cars to buy to fix and then sell. I believe I am transitioning from a wannabe car-hoarder to enjoying working on them. It's taken a while to be willing to learn.
If you can add to your living with this hobby of yours, I say it's a good deal. Swap the time agonizing over the morality of it and spend it taking action. If it's a terrible thing, you'll perceive it. If not, get on with it. What do you think?
Your passion for cars and your desire to turn this into a business might be God's leading. Why not go with it and see? The Apostle Paul didn't wait for a lightning bolt from God, he just made his plans and tacked on "God willing" to them. "God willing we will go here. God willing, we will do this." He took action but always had God's will in the forefront of his thinking, and altered his plans accordingly. You can do the same. Go where your heart is taking you, but be open to God altering your plans.
I'm also a huge car nut, and I'm working on developing a way to turn this passion into a business. If people ask me what's my passion, it would have to do with cars. Growing up, I was never that interested in sports, although I played some. But I could tell you that 602 Z28 Camaros were produced in 1967. I just loved cars. And trucks. And 4x4's. Man, I just love it all! Unfortunately I did not follow this passion in my career pursuits, but now I'm trying to find my way to do it.
God made you and me, and obviously some other folks, where we are just wired with this love for these inanimate machines. I can't explain it to anyone, but it is something He put there, so that in itself can't be a bad thing.
Russ, you make a great point about Paul's approach to his plans.
Colossians 3:23 (ESV) says "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men". We're instructed to do our work wholeheartedly. If you find that you can't do that, it may be a sign that this path really isn't your calling.
However, if this path energizes you, provides value to others, and brings forth your best work, than run with it.
I couldn't think of a better way for God to tell you that you're on the right path.
I was in the classic car business for six years. It was fun for me and I enjoyed it a lot. It wasn't what I dreamed about doing but i did enjoy selling people what they were looking for. When people are buying classic cars they are really buying a dream. Its not a necessity but it is something they want or had when they were younger or just a desire they have. You hear some great stories from the older people who had them when they were kids. What ever you decide to do keep Christ at the center. We have a mandate to subdue the earth in every area, business, hobbies family, sport etc. Maybe this could be a stepping stone to where God wants you to go. Or maybe He wants you to worship Him by selling classic cars. Work is worship. Ask Him and pursue it unless He says no. If you make a mistake don't worry Jesus died to cover our mistakes so we are free to make mistakes without eternal penalty. I still have a desire to sell one every now and then. Just remember to worship in EVERYTHING you do. We all get sidetracked but Father will for give.
Ladies and Gentlemen... We're the featured discussion of the week! Time to step up the comments.
Who is around you locally that you know well that could help you discern this? Have you discussed this with your brothers in Christ who live near you?
One more thing to note... I like this webpage by Rob Kibbe (http://www.themusclecarplace.com/cars-for-a-living). It tells the story of how he didn't just dream, he did it. It seems like a pretty good indicator of what's involved for the path he chose. It's not exactly what Sean is talking about, but it's pretty close.
Also Sean, perhaps you could do a book along the lines of Tom Cotter's Cobra In The Barn type books.
So... I'm curious to know what the OP (J Sean Allen) thinks after the feedback above?
WOW! I had no idea this would be such a popular (and common) issue... not just with regards to cars but in all aspects of discerning God's will vs individual passion! As such, I want to thank each and every one of you for providing your insights, experiences, resources, and challenges!
I wish I could have responded to each reply, but unfortunately, I left for a family vacation the day after posting my discussion... bad timing , I know. Of course, I did periodically read your replies with my smartphone (and even scanned craigslist a few times), but my ultimate vacation objective was to disconnect from it all and just be still... and more importantly, to spend quality time with my amazing wife and daughter! What a BLESSING! Objective met... Our time in Orlando was awesome!
On a personal note, I was inspired not only by your responses, but also by some readings from Seth Godin (The Dip and Poke the Box) as well as my favorite part of the vacation -- an airboat tour of the Everglades! Talk about someone with a passion and a purpose... Captain Dave (Aquatic Adventures) was terrific and appears to be doing quite well for himself as he shares (or should I say rents) his passion with others! A great example and a very enjoyable alligator experience!
Anyway, I want to thank everyone once more for simply taking the time to participate and for helping me see I'm not alone in my pursuit. I also want to mention a few things that I may not have indicated in my initial post (and may lead to further discussion). First, I currently work in ministry as a volunteer coordinator and have been consistently praying about this internal struggle and discernment for several years. As many of you indicated, it's most likely time for me to take action and step out in faith! Ministry can be done anywhere, and God will lead and direct me from there! Second, I am on a quest for more simplicity (is that an oxymoron?), and I believe living simple is one of the keys to having a blessed life (see the book Radical). There are times when I want to sell it all (house, cars, etc.) and move to Columbia as a missionary just to experience the true faithfulnees, joy, and peace of God.
I wonder if we have it all wrong here in the US where consumerism and self-indulgence seem to leave us concerned only about ourselves and worldy desires? And perhap there lies the real moral question underlying my "passion vs distraction" delimna? Can I really make a Kingdom impact by selling something so non-essential and unnecessary (classic and collector cars)? Will I use my passion to ultimatley help those in need? Or will my passion for cars become an idol as I drift away (like the Israelites) from my passion and dependence on Christ? What about those whom I would be selling to? Am I leading them astray (materialism) as well? Or will I lead by example and share my contagious faith? Help me, Lord!
I'd love to answer all of your questions. Once I figure it out, I'll let you know. But, I don't see any problem with making a living off of cars. Seems as good a way to pay the bills as any. The tents Paul made weren't eternal, but they served their purpose.