This past weekend I had several errands to run, so Saturday I loaded up the kids and we headed to the stores.
We first went to lunch, because frankly, it was like Old Mother Hubbard’s house around here. The cupboard’s were bare, short of a bag of leftover Halloween candy. That would have been a viable option for me, except that I had already eaten all of the candy that I like…
After lunch we hit some of the local stores. I knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I needed to get.
When we lived in Wisconsin, this would have been no quick trip. We lived in a very rural town and had to travel 2 hours to the nearest mall and 45 minutes to the nearest Wal-M@rt. (but no walking barefoot through the snow uphill both ways…) Any shopping had to be planned or done online.
The lovely part of this was that I learned to be content with what I had. Honestly, there’s not much I can think of buying that a 2 hour trip in a car with kids won’t cure me of. I did most of my clothes shopping online.
When we moved to Maryland, I stayed away from the malls because we didn’t have the money to get by each week, let alone do any extra shopping.
But recently, I’ve had to go into REAL stores, with real items I can touch! and smell! and they are displayed so lovely. And the desire for “things” has had to be stuffed aside repeatedly. I was amazed at the things that I began to think that I “needed”… things that before Saturday, I didn’t even know I could buy. I went into BabiesRUs to use a gift certificate that we received for Declan’s birth. I knew just what I wanted… but walking to the right aisle led me past digital baby scales for making sure your baby is the perfect weight in between doctor’s visits. Sterilization kits. Gadgets for increasing your baby’s IQ in utero. Luxury strollers. I had to keep my eyes averted just to keep from passing out from the panting.
Even our local Wal-M@rt is fancy, with its wooden floors and track lighting. Shopping at Wal-M@rt is hard enough without having to deal with every thing screaming from the racks for you to take it home.
I love beautiful things. And don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with beautiful things. But there is when we ignore the suffering of others while we bask in “OUR” things.
My prayer for each of you (including myself) during this Thanksgiving week is that we will be content with the things we’ve been blessed with and that we will remember and help take care of those who have been blessed with little.
Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
~ Deuteronomy 15:11