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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Two Pairs of Shoes

Right now I have black boots and black shoes.  They gave me something to think about.  You see, I am the type of person that tries to take good care of my possessions so they last as long as possible.  Good stewardship I'd like to say.  Yet the reality is that everything does eventually wear out much to my dismay.  If we have a newer clothes and old shoes, the whole thing doesn't really mesh.  However, I'm aware there's a difference in pursuing beauty verses meeting needs.  But, let's just say the black shoes we own wear out and we do need to replace them.  The following insights are the food for thought I'm wanting to pass along to my daughters.

1.  Buy what is on sale and will be durable.  If you put my sale priced shoes alongside someone who invested a lot of money in their shoes, if they get scuffed or lost, who is going to be more upset?  Did you ever notice how people that spend a lot of time shopping and finding products can sometimes go on and on?  I think this is a result of how much they've invested in them on the front end.  It became a hunt instead of a gather.  (for a look at obsession balanced with truth, watch Amy Adam's movie!!!)

2.  Recognize when you're buying something for the beauty of it and find beauty somewhere else.  For me, at one point I realized I had WAY more stationery than I'd ever use.  I told myself I was going to use up my stationery before buying anymore.  It was great!  I could look at the different beautiful papers, but I didn't need to buy them.  I used up paper that I didn't care for as much, telling myself that the message I was writing was more important than the pretty paper.  To find beauty, start a collection of clippings of ideas and colors and look at them for fun.  Not every idea has to turn into a purchase - it can be an artistic expression and be just as satisfying.

3.  The thing that has helped me squash materialism the most is the song, "The Wondrous Cross" (contemporary version :)  There's a part in the song that says,

"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride."

Contempt means WORTHLESS!  I thought about my pride, what I took pride in, and it was sad.  I focused on so many things other that Jesus, God's love, prayer, etc., and I identified that pride did come from some worldly things in my life.  I wanted to pour contempt on them at that point.  It was a challenge for me then, and it can still challenge me now.  However, I can look beautiful and try to make sure I connect with people - isn't that the goal of looking beautiful, to attract attention (and then give attention!)  It's a surface expression of the joy that's inside... and if you step on my shoes, it's likely I'll be forgiving.  That's the story of two pair of shoes - it's enough and not too much, and hopefully you'll consider what's too much for you.  I'm sure contentment in the Lord will prove to be of greater value and blessing than you ever imagined.

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