Every year around mid March to early April is an exciting time in my household. Tax refund season, it’s like an early Christmas for us. We buy all the stuff that we wanted but couldn’t afford in the past. Everyone get’s new wardrobes, and gadgets and gizmos and it’s just an amazing time for the whole family, not a face is without a smile. The more amazing thing is how quickly it all goes by. The initial joy pales to worry and fret that we did not save enough money. The happiness that once abounded in the opening of boxes is now scarce as that which once entertained has now become the mundane and ordinary. I often think about how trivial the word new is, when we are constantly changing. New becomes old, and cool becomes crap it’s all a matter of time, but the needs inside of us are consistent. The need for something real, something of value, something timeless.
In my kitchen there is a large wooden dinner table. The table is freaking huge in comparison to the size of the kitchen, its absolutely massive, and I love it. I love that table, because of the memories. Memories from the dinners and the board games, and so on, you know the dinner table is a major element in families I won’t explain any further. The table is great but there is one major problem. The chairs. These chairs look like if they went to school with Ikea, Ikea would pick on them. Ikea and all the other cool furniture kids would tip my chair’s books over as they were walking down the hall. They’re that bad. I have literally sustained injuries at the dinner table not only from overeating but from the chair simply throwing in the towel to gravity. With that being said, this year we all agreed we needed new chairs. Welp, the check arrived via mail, and it was almost glowing. I could literally hear harps playing as I opened the envelope , and I don’t remember much after that. I can vaguely recall flashes of different department stores that I may or may not have been in, it all happened so fast and guess what? No chairs were bought. We spent so much time buying the things we wanted we forgot to get the things we needed.
Now granted all of our money isn’t gone we were smart enough to save some, but I find an interesting parallel between this story and my personal life. I am surrounded by things that I wanted and have obtained, yet the things I need in my life like peace, joy, and happiness those are the things that are farthest from me. Not because they have not been made accessible, but because I have placed more value on my wants than my needs, and my life has suffered because of it. The Giver of all that I need is eternal. His love is eternal, His peace is eternal, and He has even promised a reward that is everlasting. I guess the problem is me. That’s supposed to be a joke, of course the problem is me! I become so saturated with myself that I start thinking that I know what’s best for me. So I fill up on things that I think will make me happy and they do momentarily, but usually what I think will make me feel awesome ends of making me feel awful and I’m right back to square one. Here’s a principle that you can implement in your life because I’m trying it in mine: if it has a plug it’s expendable. Take it from a man that has a lot of gadgets plugged into walls even as I write this, but on the inside I’m unplugged in a lot of areas. You don’t want to be that guy with all the cool do-dadds but no hope or peace or love. That’s no way to live life. Pray to God that He not only gives you what you need, but also the strength to get rid of the things you don’t.