Tuesday, March 17, 2009

death of the american dream

I am really fighting covetousness and discontentment lately. Yes, I should be thinking about the huge portion of the world that has less(much less) than I do. But sadly, I tend to focus on the culture around me, which is so financially prosperous. Today this struggle reached a climax when I started a new job. I now nanny for a family who owns the most beautiful house I've ever set foot in! It's not the most expensive house I've ever seen, but it is just perfect. If I could design a living space, that is exactly how I would make it. Huge kitchen complete with espresso machine, open living room with tons of windows overlooking wooded walking trails, a huge closed in back porch with a fireplace, xm radio throughout, huge pieces of art from a gallery the wife inherited from her father, all modern but livable furniture, etc. It was simply stunning. I'm so glad I get to work there one day a week! But as I took in the beauty, my heart started to fill with desires to possess this...Followed by sadness at the realization that this is not the life I have chosen. Though I may someday own a house, I will never have a house such as this. In that moment, I believed the lie that "If I only had ____ then everything would be okay."(a phrase our pastor used in a sermon)

And then, the Holy Spirit convicted me. He reminded me that I have the greatest possession... Jesus. And suddenly I felt truly wealthy! I really got the concept of storing up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy. I know that if I had that house, it would be so hard to feel that this world is not my real "home"...So though I struggle with appeal of luxurious living, I would never trade my mansion in heaven for this mansion on earth!


Mike and Christie said...

Oh Becca :)

I remember one time when we were homeless, watching "The Price is Right" and getting really depressed.
And yet, all around me were the most precious blessings. I was blinded by my own "death of a dream" to see that I was truly blessed.

Mike and I had a chance to have more materially after the guys left home. I was working for him full time and savings was growing, and we even bought new furniture.
But.... when Anna asked us to be her mom. The vow of poverty for 15 more years didn't seem to matter that much. We knew that our lives are so blessed not by what we have but by what we can give. By what we can put into somebody else.

There will always be those people who have..... and you may always be a "have not". Who knows? But, if you do become a have, can I come and live with you in your perfectly beautiful house when I am old? ;)

Ivy said...

Yes, indeed, there always seem to be those people that appear to have no trouble getting EVERYTHING they want. (nice houses are what I tend to covet, too) But when that happens I try to think about missionaries I know who VOLUNTARILY give up everything nice and clean in order to please the Lord.

Similarly, God has given you and Joe and Marc and I certain jobs to do here that please him. And so our desires must fall away as well, because most often they conflict with His.

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie and Clip said...

Amen and Amen! It is great to hear you preaching to your own heart and to mine!

Susan a.k.a Lucy said...

Love your post.

You don't know what you will have materially in the future.I got my dream house in Scotland, none of would have seen that coming...but I also wept tears watching the new sofa carried in the door of that "dream home" there cause the Lord was pinching me with a reminder, that this may not "last" and to enjoy abounding while it was gift for that season. (8 months later I moved to Ky with another part of the "dream home package" - the home part (-:

Even if and when God gives you such a lovely home, He will always be tugging at your heart about the mansion to come! (as well as about those who have less)

I know wherever you live, you will make it as lovely and inviting a home for your family as is possible and that you will be open to whatever God's work is for you in that dwelling.

Katie said...

A good reminder, Becca. That ol' green eyed monster is a sneaky one. Even when you do have a house you will still feel the same sometimes. It's part of our sinful nature. I just was reminded of the JP Morgan quote Scott gave yesterday. When asked how much more money he thought he needed (being the richest man in the world at the time) he replied, "just a little more."