Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is Family Worth More than a Trifle?

As my family shopped last evening for a few camping items and other items for our house, I came across a trifle bowl. I've been wanting one for months and never picked one up. When I found it, I showed my husband, and he said, "Sure, go ahead and buy it, if you think you need it." Do I need it? Hmmm. I suppose not. But, can't I just want something? Just this once. (Slight exaggeration-I want things All the time ie. coffee, new floor, naps, and the list goes on and on). So as we drove home, I became quiet, and I suppose a bit angry. I knew in my head it was ridiculous to be angry over a trifle bowl. The funny thing was, I didn't know who I was angry with: my husband for asking the question, myself for wanting it, or God for not allowing me to have it. I knew there was a bigger issue at hand than the trifle bowl, but I didn't know what it was. I'm not sure that I know all the implications today, but I learned something through this seemingly ridiculous experience.

How many times in my life do I choose the trifle bowl over what really matters, for now, we'll call what really matters, "the pan of brownies"? What would the purpose be behind the trifle bowl? It would look pretty. I could prepare beautiful desserts. My friends and family would be impressed. And there you have it. Two sinful deceptions I deal with in my life: pleasure and position. What would the benefits be of a simple pan of brownies? They're quick, leaving me more time with my family. They're nonimpressive, leaving no room for anyone to think about me while they're eating them. They're still delicious, allowing us to give thanks for simple pleasures.

As I thought of the parallel of the "Great Dessert Display Dilemma", I thought of my life, and how God often asks me to choose the simple pan of brownies-the important things in life, the eternal things, and every ounce of my being screams for the trifle bowl-the unimportant, the temporary.

I want to go to a quiet beach somewhere in the Outer Banks. God tells me that a quiet retreat to the mountains close to home is best. I want a few new shirts. God tells me that several shirts I own is best. I want to live in a quiet place in the country with a little land, and God says that our home in the middle of town is best. I want to see my kids graduate from high school and spend the last part of my life here on earth, quietly with my husband, sitting on the porch swing hand-in-hand, but God says there may be other things in store that might disrupt our "quiet simple life" in later years.

No, God's best and my desires do not always match. But, I do trust that His ways are the best ways. It is a constant laying down of my life, including my wants and my desires on a daily basis.

Do I really need more evidence than this?

Thank you, Lord, for showing me what is best, even when I pout like a baby. Thank you Lord, for loving me enough to discipline me. Show me how to do the same with my children, Lord. Thank you for everything. Every single thing you give and every single thing you don't. I love you, Lord.

And because God always says it best,
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~Matthew 6:19-33