The American Dream is hard to run from. It’s out there and keeping up with the Jones’ is a fight that is a consistent daily battle. In all honesty, 50 years ago people had less space and more kids. They had less stuff and less medications to get them through the day. There has to be something to the fact that our culture is so unhappy and yet we have more than enough. Celebrities who have it all are the unhappiest.
Have you ever had one of those days when you compare everything you have to everything your friends have? Today was that day for me. Some days it is tough to go against the grain and try to be content with what you have. I am starting to believe that there is a reason God included the Tenth Commandment (funny it has taken me this long to believe that there is a reason, I know). The Tenth Commandment states that “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s house…”. The definition of “covet” is to “wish for earnestly or to feel desire for what belongs to another.” I firmly believe that it is because desiring what you don’t have and someone else does will EAT YOUR LUNCH. It will consume you.
So the 2×4 you ask? Sometimes in life, God gives little nudges by a friend to remind you to change your ways and other days he uses a 2×4 and you find yourself in a puddle of tears in the car-rider line at your child’s school. I chose to take some time to read while waiting for my son after school. I am reading the book “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. So after pouting all day about what God is keeping from me, these are the words I found:
“Do not be fooled by the luxuries of this world; they cripple our faith. As Jesus explained, the right things have to die so the right things can live—we die to selfishness, greed, power, accumulation, prestige, and self-preservation, giving life to community, generosity, compassion, mercy, brotherhood, kindness and love”.
These words are not to judge those who may have more than others. Instead, they should be a reminder that we are blessed. That we have plenty. That we should be content “whatever the circumstances”. To learn the “secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11-13). Life is more than stuff and making a collection of things.
If you are looking for a good push or a 2×4 from God, check out Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.