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More Practical

I am a big fan of the sitcom Modern Family.

Phil Dunphy is a fun-loving father that cares about his family more than anything. He loves them and sacrifices for them at every turn.

Then, one day, he goes with his friend Andre to a car dealership. The two admire a sleek black sports car.

Phil is just pining after this car. He wants it so badly. But he knows it’s not practical. He has three children. It doesn’t make sense.

Andre says to him, “You never hear a person on their deathbed saying, ‘I wish I’d been more practical.’”

It probably wasn’t wise for Phil to buy a sports car when he still had children at home.

But I think Andre has a point.

I’m all for being practical. I’m all for being productive. I’m all for striving to be and do more.

But the things that matter most – the things that bring color and variety to life – aren’t always practical.

I’m learning to play the mandolin. It’s not even a little bit practical. I have no intention of joining a bluegrass band. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to learn, so I am – and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I am rereading the Chronicles of Narnia for the seventh time. I read a couple of chapters every night before I go to bed. I know how every story ends but I still love reading them as much as I did the first time.

I cut my workday short every couple of weeks to get an early dinner with my parents. I talk to my brothers on the phone regularly. I spend a lot of time doing puzzles and coloring and playing Legos with my nieces and nephews. There’s nothing obviously practical about our time together. We’re not producing anything. But I wouldn’t trade those moments with any of them for the world.

I’m not peddling a “just do what makes you happy” bill of goods.

I’m just saying that practicality is a good servant but a terrible god.

Practicality should serve us in becoming more of who God created us to be.

But if we prize it above all else it will almost certainly make us less of who we were created to be.

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