So the last article I discussed how easy it is to compare ourselves to others and why we do so as human beings. I remember back in college when I read a story in my devotional about living in a “microwave society.”
A microwave society means we want something so fast we are not willing to wait for it. Our society seems to hate the term WAIT. I mean we think back as kids whenever we would see those delicious ooey-gooey cookies that grandma or your mom made and as soon as you go to reach for it and think you are in the clear you hear “WAIT, you are going to ruin your dinner!” Then we would get mad, cross our arms and pout. We didn’t realize at the time but that wait kept us from ruining the dinner that we needed for the nourishment of our bodies. Our moms and grandmas did this for our own good even though we didn’t realize it at the time. Sadly, today it seems we are ignoring the after affects of rushing into a decision without waiting and thinking. We live in a world where we just want something quick like having food hot in seconds with the touch of a microwave. We now have the ability to send a message to our best friends or family members in seconds with a touch of a button. We seemed to have lost the excitement of waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail. We had to wait, but it meant so much more when it arrived. I was talking to Jason the other day as we started to plan our Christmas trip that we look forward to every year. I was asking Jas “why is it that Christmas seems to be the most exciting time of the year?” Then my mind started to think about The Grinch movie and how Christmas is treated in that movie. You see all of the Who’s rushing around and becoming greedy and being in competition so much so that they lose focus of why Christmas is even there and what it’s about. The Who’s are rushing through and not thinking about others and it just ruins that time. I told Jas maybe that’s it…maybe because so many look forward to it because we have to wait all year and when it’s finally getting close you see all the countdowns that everyone loves. I’m honestly surprised this world hasn’t made Christmas year-round since that seems to be the time the vast majority of people are really pumped up and decorate, bake and go crazy! I think Christmas is so special because we have to wait.
This idea got me thinking about why we quickly lose the “new car smell” of buying something beyond our means because we weren’t wiling to wait. So many times we compare ourselves with others and when we do so we start becoming envious of material possessions they own and then before you know it you have to have it too. You want it so much that you are willing to go up to your eyeballs in debt over it. Once you go and purchase the “beyond your means” priced item you get that quick thrill of having the item just like your pal and then you post it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and receive so many likes and comments and then before you know it all that excitement fades and you are left with another debt to pay off. This brings me to the thought of how different it would be if a person were willing to just be happy for the person who was able to save and buy a nice item for themselves and their family. When we aren’t willing to wait we end up losing the joy and peace in it because we are purchasing an item out of envy and then we lose the peace because we have a “red” cloud of debt ready to rain on us. I see so many people today working long hours and complaining about their jobs because they are living paycheck to paycheck because of careless decisions like this and not waiting and saving for things they can’t quite afford yet or most importantly realizing they don’t need the product to begin with. It took the Grinch to steal all the presents before the Who’s realized that it wasn’t about the “stuff” after all. I look forward to our upcoming mini getaway…we love to go walk the malls or go see Christmas lights in homes all around. We don’t go and spend tons of money we don’t have; we set aside a budget to cover gas and food and then go. For us, it’s not about the stuff, it’s about the time that we spend together as husband and wife and the memories we create. Some of these memories are captured by a camera in a picture. It’s always amazing to me that the “stuff” you see in the picture usually doesn’t last, but the people and the time shared is what sticks with you. Seek out contentment with what you have and focus on the blessings you have, rather than worrying about everyone else’s situation.