Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Not Worth It Until Someone's Willing to Pay ~ Life Lessons from Auctions

Last year Edvard Munch's artwork, The Scream, became the most expensive piece of art sold at auction selling for $119,922,500.

You can watch the video of the sale here. It's short and somewhat interesting to see how it works and how quickly $120 Million was spent.

That's a lot of money.

I like art. I took an art history class in college and really enjoyed it.  The Scream is one of those famous paintings I've always found, well, ugly. For someone, though, it's a piece of art they want to enjoy looking at so much that they dropped a record setting amount of money on it.

If you look into other off-the-chart options you'll find things like Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress, which sold for more than $1.2 million or one of Leonardo Da Vinci's journals that sold for a whopping $30.8 Million. (You can see more high auction prices here and here.)

Sometimes I understand the high price of certain auction items. Other times I'm left baffled.

Have you ever seen Antiques Roadshow? It's a PBS program where people bring in random things from their homes or families and experts tell them how much a particular item is worth. Most of the time, it isn't worth a whole lot, but every once in a while a special item comes along that gets a massive value tag. Owners get excited and you can tell that some of them are planning on auctioning the piece off as soon as they figure out how.

The thing is, that item, whatever it is, isn't really worth that much until someone is willing to pay it.

Recently the piano from Casablanca was sold. It was valued before the sale at $1.2 Million. But it wasn't really worth that much because the most anyone was willing to pay for it was $600,000. Half the anticipated value. Baseball cards, collectibles, art - all of these items get touted as being "worth" a certain amount of money. But if you go to sell it and no one will pay it... was it really worth that much?

I look at the auction of The Scream and all I can think is that someone wanted that piece of art really badly. That pastel on board that I think is pretty atrocious, means a lot to someone else. I hope that intend to put it somewhere they can look at it and enjoy their purchase.

All of that makes me realize just how valuable I am.

You see, once upon a time, my life was on the auction block. When sin entered the world, mankind - and myself by extension - became sullied. Worth less than expected, or at least we assumed.

But the fact is that God stepped up to the auction house where our lives wait in havoc and chaos, and He places a bid. He says He can pay the price, far above what anyone else, myself included, ever thought it was worth.

My life, your life, are valuable enough for him to pay the price with Jesus' death, suffering, and resurrection.
Talk about your high-value auction item.

Sometimes I think I'm ugly, and not always on the outside. Sometimes I think I'm not worth much, but the price paid says otherwise. It says I'm worth Jesus giving His life.

And that makes me feel pretty special.

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