my search to understand the bigger picture

Monday, November 28, 2011

Slave to Stuff

Currently I'm spending time working my way through Donald Miller’s first book, Through Painted Deserts. Many thoughts have run through my head so far, and I wanted to blog about them. I've ready this book many times in the past, and really enjoyed it. This time around, reading the book has opened my eyes to some interesting insights.

So, basically, I’ve found another thing that I’m a slave to. I’ve known this for quite awhile, but maybe today reached a new level of clarity. I’m a slave to the thought that more worldly possessions will make me happy. In my heart, I know this is false, especially when I’m out in nature, and that is enough for me. Then I get back into the real world, and the lure of the enemy comes crashing back in with a vengeance. I have found it particularly difficult to be happy for others when they get things that I've been wanting for awhile. This has been bothering me, because I really hate to be that person. Jealousy in people is never fun to experience. It sucks the joy right out of you. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT TO OTHERS.

I've heard many stories lately from people in my life of fun things they've been able to get or experience, things I've wanted in the past. And I began to feel the jealousy rise up, almost uncontrollably. It was horrible to watch. I read some more out of the book, and was reminded again that no matter how strongly I feel the pull, I know that material possessions won’t make me happier. Sometimes I think this love language thought is such a crock. Complete bullcrap! Gifts won’t make me happy. I mean, I know it’s the process of it, gifts make me feel like someone was thinking about me, and wants to express their love for me. BUT, the gifts won’t make me happy. I don’t need them. It’s strange because I think what I most need is a simplistic lifestyle, minimalist lifestyle, but what I most crave is the exact opposite. I crave the accumulation of unnecessary material garbage. Things that won’t make a lick of difference. My life is not worse off because I don’t have a smart phone. It’s not incomplete because I don’t have a motorcycle. It’s not incomplete because I don’t have an iPad.

My life is incomplete because I search to fill the void in my life with things, and not with Jesus. Pure and simple. No way around that one. It’s the truth. It sucks. Because to be honest, right now, I want “stuff” more than I want Jesus. Just sayin. Trying to be honest here. The desire and pull inside of me is more for material crap than Jesus. If Emily told me I could spend $1,000 on ANYTHING right now, I’d probably scream and dance around the room. Instantly my mind would start making lists of stuff, prioritizing what to get. If I were told I could spend some good quality time with Jesus, hmmmmmm, thanks. Not a bad gift. That’s ok.

How does one address this problem? First and foremost, I must repent. This has such a stronghold over me. I need forgiveness, and I need it know. I also ask for a continual reminder that things will not bring me happiness. Jesus says we shall have no other master before him. That’s serious business. I give this over to Jesus, and trust that He knows how to help me overcome this. Because right now, I feel helpless. This feels too strong of an urge to resist. I’ve got to trust that Jesus will lead me through this process.

Is it wrong to have "stuff"? Absolutely not. Is it wrong to place anything before Jesus? YES! If most of our attention was given to Jesus instead of the accumulation of things, our lives, and our world would be a completely different place. I'm working towards a completely different life. Please pray for me, encourage me, and support me as I work to allow God to break through in this area in my life.

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