I don’t know how you would answer that question, but I am a pastor, and I own a Porsche.
To live curiously and collect curious things does not always make sense to everyone.
Twenty years ago when I was a youth pastor in Indianapolis, I wrote three books for youth pastors: Things They Didn’t Teach You At Bible College But You Really Need To Know and Creative to the Max – Volumes One and Two. I started receiving royalty checks each month. These checks were small, just a few hundred dollars a month, but I was wise enough at 23 years old to know that if I didn’t do something proactive with these resources, I would spend them on CD’s, soccer shoes and steaks at Outback, and have nothing to show for it.
So I decided to make an investment.
I decided to route these resources toward something that would appreciate in value and be fun to own at the same time.
I found this 1973 911 Targa Porsche with a for sale sign in the window one day coming home from work. It lived in a neighborhood near me. It had only had two previous owners, and the current owner was ready to sell. I got a loan at the bank and purchased this car for $9,100, and every single royalty check that I received went to pay off that loan.
The same week I bought the car, I put a BOSTON tape in the green glowing Alpine deck, and that has been the car’s only soundtrack for the past 20 years!
The car, since being purchased in Indiana, has also lived in Kentucky, California and Arizona. I can tell you that driving the 911 in California was more acceptable than driving it in Kentucky. There is a big perception difference between owning a Porsche in the Midwest and owning a Porsche on the West Coast. Which leads me to believe that whether or not a pastor should own a Porsche has as much to do with geography as it does theology.
I purchased the car with 51,000 miles, and over the course of two decades, I only nudged the odometer a bit past 65,000 miles. Driving this car sparingly down old country roads in Kentucky, up the coast in California and around the cactus in Arizona has obviously helped the value of the car. It is not worth $9,100 anymore. It is now worth north of $40,000.
I can remember the week I bought this car, I was 23 years old, thinking that it could one day pay for my kids’ college tuition if I would take care of it. It has been a blast to drive and care for this car.
So, here is my advice to those who want to own curious things whether you are a pastor or not.
1. Own things that you appreciate and that appreciate in value.
And own as few things as possible that depreciate in value. But if it appreciates, whether it is a classic Porsche, a mustang, VW bus, Gibson guitar or a first issue of a Spider Man comic book … if it appreciates, it may be a good thing to own.
2. If you won’t loan it, don’t own it.
If you own something that you won’t loan to a friend, you don’t really own that thing – it owns you! Whether it is a Porsche, nice DSLR camera, pair of boots or golf clubs … if you won’t loan it, don’t own it!
3. Collect experiences not things.
Ultimately, things will let you down. No matter how nice the clothes, car, computer or television … it will soon be old, out of fashion or unfulfilling. It is better to collect experiences with people than to collect things. Experiences will be cherished long after things have left your garage.
By the way, today is a BITTER / SWEET day.
June 4th, 2015.
I just sold the Porsche this afternoon.
PS – Don’t worry, I remembered to take out the Boston tape.
Live curious.ly friends.