Does striving to have the latest gadget or newest model cause stress or discouragement? Shift your focus and recognize that you’re probably already richer than you think!
In our culture of marketing and materialism, it can be challenging to avoid getting caught up in the “rat race” or “keeping up with the Joneses”. I have struggled with this often (and still do from time to time). Wanting a newer car or a nicer house. With a swimming pool. A boat and/or RV. A man-cave with a billiards table, a dart board and a HD TV on the wall with a killer home theater sound system!
Unfortunately, my career path and income trajectory haven’t allowed for such luxuries. Don’t get me wrong: I have a roof over my head and adequate transportation and there is always food on the table and in the pantry. I am blessed to be able to say I have “enough”. And yet, I am still often lured into the trap that without all those other fancy possessions, my life—and even me, personally—is diminished from, or “less than”, the lives of others who have all the toys. Of course, those are lies straight from the pit! But when we are bombarded with those messages daily, it’s hard not to tune them all out all of the time.
So it was refreshing to be reminded of the counter message this past Sunday when our pastor reminded us that “our greatest satisfaction in life will come from accumulating experiences, not possessions.” And as I look back on my life to date, I have plenty of experiences to compensate for my lack of possessions: Rich experiences with my wife. My kids. My extended family. Things like vacation road trips, hikes, drama productions, choir performances. Cheering my kids at their sporting events like baseball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, softball, badminton. Trips to Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Canada, Mexico City. I know how to fish and hunt and set up a tent and find clean drinking water.
Even professionally, I don’t have a lot of awards or accolades, but I’ve done marketing and sales and operations and administration and human resources and computer software. I’ve built a treehouse and refinished a wood floor and installed windows, ceramic tile and crown moulding. I’ve painted interiors and exteriors. I know how to change the oil in the car and how to change a flat tire.
The list goes on and on. It’s nice to reflect on how “rich” I really am. I will be adding this reflection time to my list of weekly habits, if not daily. It keep things in perspective, and brings peace to the day, calming and silencing the voices that urge me to push and strive for more and better “stuff”.
For your advantage,