Leaving the carpool line today we drove past the car I have longed for. While not a car chick per se, several years back while living in Virginia Beach I was the designated driver to a wine festival and drove the host’s car, a Range Rover. My initial hope was that I would drive it around and be like, “yup, not much difference from my car! It drives, it plays some tunes and it gets us from point a to point b.” Unfortunately, for me it was somewhat magical.
It was not only the smoothness of the ride which was impressive. Nor was the magic isolated to the luxury of the inside which breathed comfort, class, and status. It was the feeling of experiencing something so lovely that you know you have been treated to something. But then I began to wonder: do people who own this car actually dream about owning a different car?! Is this luxury just a stepping stone for them to the next level of awesome?
This has been a thought I have been wrestling with in a variety of different areas. As a culture do we ever reach the place where we acknowledge we have enough? A good-enough car, enough square footage, enough on our schedule, enough of a good thing. When our children amass the lovely new toys, animals, clothes, and books at Christmas we are always amazed at the turnaround time it takes them to think of something else they want. But, this has been modeled by the world around them and by me first and foremost.
My kids know that more than anything, mommy wants a porch. I want them to do homework there while I read and have a glass of wine. I want to have the comforting conversations with the girls when the day has been unkind and the rejoicing conversations when they have achieved a goal they’ve been working on for what seems like forever! When we drive through neighborhoods with porches a-plenty they say “ohhhhh, mom look at that one!” I must admit, this is a rather fun activity, but I wonder if they know that mommy is content with things as well.
When the girls want something at a store I tell them they can put it on “their wish lists.” We figured out early on that this curbs any attempts at a tantrum and allows them to see that they would have to want it more than the things they have already put on their lists. But you know what I don’t take the time to say? I don’t get face-to-face with them and ask if they think they have enough of that item. When I was growing up my mom had me give away something if I was bringing something new in. I can tell you as a professional organizer that this is simply not a reality for this generation. So, what are we teaching them?
In this lenten season I am hoping to focus on this idea of 2 Peter 1:3
“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
Is it possible that, if I do not have it at this point of the journey, that I do not in fact need it for this leg of the journey towards abundant life and godliness? I am not a prayer warrior, but my most consistent prayer over the years has been that I would have a grateful heart. Maybe it is hard to become a woman with a grateful heart if I am always perusing land rovers and porches. Maybe it takes an intentional slowing down and seeing what I do have and actually saying thank you for what has been given. It says here that we are given those gifts through the knowledge of him who called us. Maybe we cannot be ultimately grateful for the gifts around us until we truly explore the heart of the giver and see that God has been for us all along.