I am not sure which sin I committed today. Lust, Envy. Not sure. I went to an auto show today with probably 10,000 people and 150 automobiles. There they were, Lotus, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Aston Martin, BMW, and dozens of others. They were glistening as their owners dusted off the finger prints. Incredible beauty and lines, amazing restorations and lush leather trim. I was enthralled.
Now I think there was some lust in my heart. There was an intense desire to have what I was seeing. I could imagine driving at high speeds out in the western plains. I could imagine that the smooth grace of those cars could rub off on my rough, wrinkled skin. I could be young again.
Or, maybe I was committing the sin of envy. Maybe I was looking at young men who couldn’t be more than 30 years of age having enough money to own such a beautiful ride. Envy is defined by Augustine as “sadness over another’s good fortune.” Not sure I was sad, just wished I might have what they have.
As I pondered my response to this gathering of grace and beauty, I looked at the title of the event. “Artomobilia”. Oh, so this is art. It is automobiles which are to be appreciated as pieces of art. It reminded me of a recent exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art called “Dream Cars.” It was an installation of concept cars from 1934 until the present. They were there to be appreciated as pieces of art.
Now I get it. I was not really lusting after what someone else owned. Nor was I envious of them of having the resources to own them. Because, really, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for taking care of such luxury. But, what I was really doing was reveling in beauty. And so as I drove home, the primary feeling I had was appreciation—appreciation to these people who came from all over the country to share the beauty and appreciation for the ability to see and experience such beauty.
And as far as I know, appreciation isn’t a sin.