My husband is a doctor, I find myself skirting this fact with people. Typically an encounter with some one just learning this fact comes back to words of, "It will really pay off BIG some day!" or "What a bright future you guys will have!" These things are meant, no doubt, as encouragement but it nonetheless some how draws a sadness. Our today, the future that will be tomorrow and the end of the week, those days pay off, those days are bright. Money isn't going to change it. If our marriage, our life together as parents and spouses and friends wasn't tight now, money would simply mask it. Money allows people to gloss over the true iniquity in their life, allowing them to buy an illusion of happiness. Retail therapy. That phrase puts a pit in me, I've used it myself.
I've been reading and reading and praying and pondering and the Spirit, it is turning me. There was a time when I allowed day dreams of future purchases to dwell in the recesses, my mind swirling with the wants. After finishing "7:A Mutiny Against Excess" and now diving into "A Divine Commodity" and "Affluenza" I'm starting to see that this obsession with want as a true illness. It's an epidemic in this land of the free where we use our freedom to puff up self rather than to spread about equality. I'm not talking a communist, Marxist type equality, just a desire in the God people to share and give away instead of obtain and hoard. I look at my house and wonder, would God walk in and see himself there?
So I write on this some what insignificant, rare read screen, that when we find our selves in a place of abundance even more so than the blessings of today, we will live the same. We will budget for needs, save for the occasional want and spread the rest. I dream of a day when the expenditures tell a story of hope for others.
Ann Voskamp recently wrote, "What will keep you from doing much good-is caring too much what others think...What would the world look like if Christians didn't care about keeping up with the Joneses but about keeping company with Christ? Maybe we'd keep our souls from insecurity and our minds from insanity?"
And isn't it such, that the things that worry us often have the minds of others at the center? We feel a need to have another shirt, different shoes, not because what we have is worn or used up, but because we desire to be seen. We desire the trend. A debt of different car for convenience of inches instead of stretching ourselves toward contentment. Is this who God meant for us to be. The Jesus I'm reading doesn't seem to approve.
I want to be esteemed more than envied.
I've thought about that lately. How I have this materialism brewing all the time, how I want to make nice, to redecorate, to buy new and have and how that feeling of some one complimenting the style of my home or wardrobe can fill me up. And now this growing, this pledge internal to be happy with less, to wear until worn and to find the needs we can meet where we're at by living a life free from want. Because really, aren't I already living this life? Free from want, with my full cupboards and bulging closet, stuff stored and usued?
Yes, I am free. And what will I do as I live in it?
My heart, it didn't use to be this way and in fact, it's still a work in progress. I want to be free from the bondage of guilt when I DO buy something that isn't need absolute, but what's more, I want to draw my heart to a place where the want isn't always there, isn't repressed. A place where I have a genuine want for others that imposes a want for self.
Little by little.
It will come.