There was a fellow who back in 1999 took advantage of a promotion by Healthy Choice Foods that involved pudding. Have you heard of it? We know him around the airline industry as The Pudding Guy. His name is David Phillips and when this promotion came out for frequent flyer miles, he calculated that the miles were worth more than the pudding!
So he bought 12,150 packages of pudding worth about $3,140. Smart guy. It netted him 1,253,000 AAdvantage miles.
Phillips couldn’t get the UPC labels off fast enough for the contest deadline by himself, so he employed the help of the Salvation Army, giving them the pudding in exchange. He also got a $815 tax break for donating the pudding. What a deal!
Another way many people get free miles on airlines is to book during the busiest days hoping to get bumped. Take the day before Thanksgiving and every airline will be oversold. And many of them give away the world if you’re bumped (although they are a little more savvy to people who try to scheme their way to free.)
As people look at these kinds of chaps, they may be called obsessive. And for me, I often wonder what people see as my obsessiveness? First century friends of Paul the apostle didn’t have any trouble identifying the passion of his life. His walk matched his stated goal – One thing I do…I press toward the goal for the prize of upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14).
If frequent-sailor-miles existed in Paul’s day, I doubt that he would have given them much thought on this missionary journeys to Asia. Christ alone was at the top of his priority list. Everything else was secondary – that in all things He may the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)
Paul’s example of single-minded devotion to Christ calls us to examine our own purpose and priorities in living. What is most important to us? For what are we spending our lives? What place will we give Jesus in our heart today?