Saturday, June 14, 2008

More

God is so good. Not just in the He loves us and takes care of us way, but in the super-secret agent, knows our every move way. Get this... (sorry, but it is kind of long)

Last weekend, Jim and I were at the store looking at luggage. Now, we don't travel a lot, and we already have luggage: multiple suitcases, duffle bags, even a garment bag. But at least one of the suitcases is the old school hard sided avacado-green kind that I think originally was my great-grandmother's. NONE of the suitcases are the cool ones it seems everyone else has now with the handles and the wheels and all the gadgets. At a conference I traveled to last fall, I felt like the only one with pre-historic luggage. So here we were, lured by a plethora of 50% off signs, looking at luggage we did not need, probably could not afford, definitely did not have room for in our home, but wanted. While we were eyeing (oh yeah, and purchasing) a lovely, spruce green American Tourister 5 piece set, with wheels, expanding sides, telescoping handles, all the works, we discussed sound that Jim was running the next day at church. "What's the theme this week?", I asked. "I can't remember," says Jim.

Next stop, Sam's Club. Tricia wants a new phone. Plain and simple. I was tired of my plain Jane cell phone and I wanted bells and whistles. I had always said in the past I wanted cheap, I did not need a phone that would bake a souffle, I just needed to make calls. But now I wanted fun. (Are you catching all the "I"s and "want"s?) So we get a cell phone. Which again we did not need and was probably going to end up costing us more that the small fee we paid to switch now that I can do so much cool stuff on it. (I will say, in my defense, I did not get the phone I really wanted (Blackberry Pearl), because then we would definitely have ended up spending more money in the end). Oh, and while we were there, I bought 2 books. One of which I already had at home from the library and had not read yet. But I wanted a copy of my own. Again at Sam's the subject of the next morning's message came up. Again, neither of us could recall what the sermon was to be centered on.

And did I mention the items I bought at Target before all this?

So Sunday comes, we get to church (early, early as Jim is on sound), I grab a bulletin and on the cover I see that the sermon is on...More. As in the character assassin of More. As in More dragging you down and messing up your priorities and your spiritual walk. As in More clouding your judgement and your thinking and you buy books and cell phones and then arrive at church the next day and remember you still haven't bought your peanut butter for the drive you were supposed to be organizing. As in More causing you to have who knows how many suitcases and whatever elses "just in case" when you know very well you will never use that many, someone else needs it more, and if you do need one you don't have God will provide it. After all, isn't that what you preach to your kids all the time? See, didn't I tell you God is good!! It blows me away that He knows on that day I am going to need to hear that message - one that has been on the calendar for months.

This is a long post and as such probably breaks a lot of blogging rules, but this is probably one of the assassins with which I struggle the most. Because we don't tend to have a lot of money and I am a pack rat, it is more on the saving up things side, than the spending side; but if we had not made some of the spending mistakes we did, we would have more flexibility in our budget.

I am so bad at saving things "in case" I might need it. I tell myself it is being frugal and wise, as it would cost money to buy a new whatever. But I wonder if it pokes holes in one of the most important lessons I want to teach my girls, and that is to trust that God will always, always take care of them no matter what. Not to be afraid, not to fear, but to have faith and know that whatever the situation looks like to us, God is in control and we must trust Him. It hit me Sunday that perhaps I am not so much practicing what I preach when I hoard so many things. I am thinking storing up treasures on earth can be different for each of us - one man's trash is another man's treasure. We say we are a "pack rat" because it doesn't sound as bad, but I think looking at why we are hanging on to things will help define what we truly are. God looks at the heart and He, of course, is the one who counts.

I don't think saving is bad in and of itself - but if it is keeping us from being able to give or from being able to fully trust God, then we need to make some changes. I know I do.
Pray on.