"Chihully and What You Cost"
My wife, Sheila, called me up on a Friday and asked, "Would you like to go to the glass show?" Several pictures came to mind. A museum filled with drinking glasses on display – plastic ones, glass ones, ice tea tumblers, juice glasses (4, 8 and 12 ounce), colors of all sorts. You get the idea. Another picture: rows and rows of reading glasses in display cases of every shape, color, size and style. Neither seemed right, but we've sight-seen strange things before. However, having been married, lo these many years, I said, "Sure, but… what is it?"
"Oh, it's at the Phipps Conservatory (read plants and flowers) where a blown glass artist has an exhibition placed among the normal displays. It is supposed to be beautiful." Okay, that makes a bit more sense and is a lot more appealing. Though I was warming up the reading glasses thing. We went.
The artist is Dale Chihully. I never dreamed the creations possible with blown glass. Starts with an incredible blown glass chandelier hanging in the Phipps entryway that whets the eye appetite for what is to come. Throughout every room blown and shaped glass was placed, lit, hung, and planted in arrays of colors that dazzle and awe. Huge, small and everything in between. Solid colors, mixed colors, speckled colors, bright colors, dull colors. Though I am not a cultured man, I was impressed.
After walking for a couple hours through the displays with the masses, I thought we were done. Anyone want to guess where we ended up? That's right, the gift shop. "You've seen it, now you can buy it." The primary product was displayed in plexi-glass cases of about 15 inch cubes. Beautiful creations of glass, molded and shaped into wonderful art for the home or office. I have to admit, they would add value to any room. Guess the price. I've asked many people to speculate and the highest is $1800. Way low. There was not one under $5000, some up to $7000. For a piece of glass I would be afraid to set out. We bought 25. Just kidding. I walked away hands in pockets; afraid I might knock one off. That would give a whole new meaning to "Oops!" "Sorry Amber, I bumped your college education on to the floor!" Made us wonder what that huge chandelier was worth. Had to be way up there. The entire display must have been in the millions of dollars.
Question: how much are those Chihully pieces really worth? Not the price, the real value.
Answer: whatever someone is willing to pay for them. If no one is willing to buy them, you might as well use them for target practice. True of anything. My boys used to come to me excited about how much a sports card in their hand was worth because a price book listed it at a dollar amount. Truth is, they are only worth that if someone will pay the price. Otherwise, fasten it against the spokes of your bike to make a motor noise and enjoy it.
BIGGER QUESTION: what are YOU worth?
Answer: whatever someone is willing to pay for you. Some of us think that is nothing, and we feel like we are being used for target practice. But someone has paid for you. Do you the price? Here it is:
""For God so loved the world that he gave (read "paid") his one and only Son , that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)
TRUTH: The God of the Universe paid with His Son for you. THAT is how much you are worth. You are worth the life of the very Son of God. Doesn't matter how others might appraise you, that is the price already paid for you. That is your value.
Since you are of such high value, what will you do with yourself? If I had a Chihully, I would protect, treasure, polish, display with pride, value it. I would not abuse, harm, misuse, chip, treat it with disregard. Since you are of much greater value than all the Chihully pieces in the entire world, what will you do with yourself? God has purchased us, we belong to Him, someday we will answer for how we treated ourselves.
You are of great worth. Live like it.
(This is taken from a message given by Herb Shaffer on September 2, 2007. You can listen to the entire message at http://www.newsongpittsburgh.org/sermons.htm )