Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stuff-ed Part One

Tonight I bought a pair of expensive sunglasses on ebay. I didn’t need them because a friend had given me a pair the other week that were the same brand. But the pair he gave me kind of made my head hurt because they were a little tight, so I decided to try a different style of the same kind.

And now I grieve my preoccupation with stuff, and my inability to find a balance of grace when I mess up, and a loving obedience that leads to simplicity.

I think that I have talked a lot about living simply in recent years, but I am pretty sure that I don’t. I think that material simplicity involves giving up things that you would like to have, and could also afford, so that other might have what they need. At this point, the main way that Diane and I limit what we have is that we try and give away a lot up front. This reduces what we have left over to spend on “wants”, and yet I still manage to find a way to make my “wants” a reality. And I am reluctant to give up my rights to have what I want, provided I can afford it.

I’ve always been accustomed to having nice stuff, which is part of what draws me to it. But tonight as I prayed, I realized that I continue to fall for a lie that says if I buy this or that, I will feel good (or at least feel better), and I rarely do. There are some frivolous purchases that are good ones and they feel right. But most of the time I think that I am just enjoying the moment of buying something (and does it get any more fun than on ebay, swooping in at the last second to “win” an item?).

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