Saturday, June 1, 2013
We don't tend to think of this as a major sin. Oh, we know it's in the ten commandments, but it's not really that bad, right?
I had a first-hand chance to evaluate this yesterday. I coveted. I caught myself thinking "why can't I have nice things like that?" Thank you Facebook pictures. Oh, I commented on them that it was a nice place, congrats, but inside, I was jealous. As I walked through my own home, wiped my children's snotty noses because of the allergens, fought with the window that will no longer latch, and tripped over junk in the floor, I found myself getting more and more upset.
Why can't I enjoy a nice beach vacation every year? Why can't I go on a cruise? Why can't I have a beautiful mantel? Why can't I have nice porch furniture? On and on...
Then I realized exactly what I was doing. I was telling God, "You aren't giving me what's good. You aren't being nice to me. I deserve better than this. I know how to run my life better than You do, and I don't like the way You're doing it."
Suddenly, coveting seems like a much bigger deal. I've got the nerve to say those things to the God who was in control of those tornadoes last night. He brings our secret sins to light, so by thinking it, I might as well be yelling at Him "You're a lousy life planner."
Three things to get my thoughts back to where they should be. In order from least effective to most.
One: Things could be worse. My house wasn't hit by a tornado or flooding last night. What I owned and could use last night, I still own and can use this morning. I'm in a far better situation than thousands of other people today in the USA alone, let alone all the starving people in Africa.
Two: I have been blessed with a lot of things these folks I'm jealous of don't have. I have been married for five years. I have two beautiful children conceived with no heartache at all. I live near family who can lend cars and freezers when ours go ka-put. I have two loving dogs. I have the privilege of full-time motherhood.
Three: God gave me everything I have. He decided this is what I should have at this moment in time. He decided what I shouldn't have. He's the one who said "no week long vacations for the first five years of marriage." He's the one who said we are to live in older houses that may or may not be considered nice. He's the one who allowed my beat-up Camry to be replaced by a less beat-up but incredibly nice Pilot. (The windows are tinted, they all roll down, and the AC works. Doesn't take much to be incredibly nice in my opinion!)
What right have I to complain in light of that third thing? None. When my mind came to that last reason, it was like a slap in the face. A "sit down and shut up" moment. I'm currently studying Genesis and am focusing on chapter one this week. God has incredible power, and yet He takes an interest in me. It's beyond the amazing parental love I have for my children; it's like I took a special interest in a microscopic mite in my drinking water. And then that mite shook its fist and complained that its cup I have it in isn't nice enough? It's laughable...