Lord, who made the lion and the lamb, you decreed I should be what I am.
But would it spoil some vast eternal plan - if I were a wealthy man?" - Fiddler
I wonder about that sometimes... would it be so horrible if I were rich? Sure, sure, not having money builds character, but people can have character and money, right?!
I have been thinking about these things today: money, pinterest and creation.
I read a blog where a family of 4 lives on $14,000 a year... crazy!! Their house and cars are paid off, which is a big chunk of bills, but even deducting that, we still make way more than that! So, I was inspired to start on Mint.com to help with budgeting and seeing where all of our money goes every month. I think that we are pretty responsible and don't spend too frivolously, but there are definitely areas where we (mostly me) could cut back.
I also read a friend's blog about quitting social media for a while because she feels like she isn't devoting her time and attention to her family - something I think we can all relate to. She also said she put so much energy into posing the perfect instagram picture or bragging about her wonderful life on twitter/facebook. She said she realized she might have a problem when jealousy overcame her on pinterest and made her angry and resentful of her real-life friends. I think this is a huge deal in today's media centered society:
1. Time suck - I would be ashamed to admit to all of the hours each week that I spend looking at facebook, blogs or pinterest. Thank goodness I never caught the twitter bug! And I can't recall much productivity that has come from it all, sadly.
2. Everyone is putting so much effort into putting their best face forward, so to speak. They brag about their kids, going to the gym, their fabulous vacations, how crafty they are, how great their house/job/car is, even Bible study for crying out loud. The Bible study thing really gets me, but I think that is a subject for a separate post. But because we all are trying so hard to put our "perfect" selves out there, it just fuels the insecurity and jealousy of everyone else. Then they feel they must validate their lives by doing the same thing, just so every body knows that they are awesome too, and the cycle continues, and it is all based on lies (or half-truths).
3. We are tricked into thinking that we NEED a lot of stuff that we don't. Our priorities are vastly skewed. I am right there among the guiltiest of guilty. I want cute clothes, a magazine-worthy house, an expensive car, and all the latest and greatest inventions for my child. But sometimes, when I get caught up in it all and start to really feel down on myself, I remember that I have never in my life been hungry, homeless, neglected or unable to go to the doctor. There are millions upon millions of people who cannot say the same.
I think all of this boils down to the same thing... creation. God designed this wonderful, beautiful world for us. Beauty in nature, relationships with family and friends, fun, feasting, working, resting are all glimpses of what heaven will be like. That is why God gave them to us. But sometimes that is all we can see, and we obsess over those good things and turn them into sins like pride, envy, gluttony, etc. We have missed the forest for all the trees. I think all of us blessed enough to be Americans (or live in any developed nation) should pray daily for God to use those blessings to point us back to Him.
All of this is easier said than done, of course, but maybe I can work on just being grateful today and go from there.
Love to you,