I’m knee deep in kid’s toys and clothes. No, I do not work in the stockroom at Walmart. I am in my garage, which is currently too full to house my tiny Ford Focus due to all the decluttering efforts. What started as a cleanup to put our house on the market led to a valuable life lesson.
In fact, this entire summer has been a valuable life lesson, from changing churches, trying to start a moms group, taking on more responsibility at work, and showing my house an impressive 27 times in four months. In case you’re wondering, it is now off the market again for a breather and some updating. (I feel like every Goldilocks in Tuscaloosa County came through here like a cattle call.) On top of all that, I successfully quit caffeine for 42 hours. But migraines, plus the above mentioned stresses, prevailed.
I guess it all started with the idea of comfort verses necessity and what really matters. We had just put our house on the market in search of a larger home to accommodate all of our STUFF (i.e. something that ultimately fades forever). Add to that sudden changes at church and work, which are two areas that have been consistent for a while.
Fast forward a few months and I am working more hours, about to start more comedy shows, have changed churches, the ministry has hit a bump, and the house is off the market. In an ideal world, I would now be in a four bedroom house with some land, nothing would have changed at church, the ministry would be kicking off, and I wouldn’t have to work at all (as I would be paid immensely every time I did stand-up.)
But despite our best efforts, we cannot control some things. All we can do is control how we react to things when they come totally out of left field. Between all the “surprises” I have experienced the last few months, which did not play out as I had planned, and a Sunday school discussion on covetness, I am at peace knowing God is in control of my life and my STUFF—whether I live on a horse farm with a wrap-around porch one day or in my 1500-square foot home until I die.
In reality, to think we deserve anything is wrong. We deserve death if not for Jesus, and anything above that is a true blessing. Now, I am the first to admit that I have dreams and am not giving up on aspiring for more. But we live in a fallen world, we are not in charge, and STUFF doesn’t matter that much anyway. If you’ve ever visited a junkyard or had a yard sale, you quickly realize that STUFF does not last forever or give ultimate fulfillment.
Then there’s that Victoria Osteen video circulating online. Personally, I hope she did not mean that message to sound as it did and pray for her either way. Regardless of where you fall on the Osteen meter, nothing is all about us—or it shouldn’t be at least.
I do in fact believe that God wants to see us happy, just as I want to see my son happy. But at the same time, I am not going to trip over myself and give him everything all the time to just make him happy. In the end, that ruins a person. If we never go through trials, changes and challenges, how will we ever grow and learn to depend on God?
There is no way to get a testimony without having a test first, and we are not promised constant happiness until we are in Heaven. I personally know people with a lot more STUFF than me who are not happy, which proves that is not the answer. Sadly, we live in a consumer-driven world where Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter makes it even more tempting to play catch-up with others. But most people only post their greatest hits of life and have their own problems regardless of material possessions.
The easiest way to look at this subject is that God promised to meet our needs, not our greeds. If we put Him first instead of focusing on STUFF, and focus on making God happy instead of ourselves, then we will end up happy ourselves. Worship God because He is God, not because it is what you routinely do or because it gives you warm fuzzies. He made us, gave His Son for us, and gives us what we need in the right way, at the right time.