I have never consider myself to be overly materialistic. Notice I use the word "overly" in that comment. Most Americans are materialistic in nature. We are a product of our culture...one that bombards us with messages about what constitutes success and happiness...and invariably this leads us to believe that bigger, nicer, and fancier are better.
I bring up this subject because I have been thinking a lot about my home lately. My home is nice and it is big, but it also older. I live in a 1970's ranch style house in a neighborhood with big old trees. I have watched families with incomes less than our own (especially all the years I was working as an R.N.) buy fancy, expensive houses in prestigious areas of town. We, on the other hand, stayed in our much more modest home and were quite content. I admit to being pleased with myself at times with the fact that I was content to live in an older home. I saw this a testament to my non-materialistic nature.
I was living a lie. I discovered two things as I have started perusing the houses for sale in the Oklahoma City area. The first is this; I don't live in an older home because it is a sacrifice, I live in an older home because that is what I love. I admire the beautiful newer houses, many with big open areas and beautiful soaring vaulted ceilings. They have master bathrooms the size of my bedroom! They shout luxury and prestige. I love visiting them and admiring their beauty. But as I look at houses in my price range and I view the new homes alongside the old, I am invariably drawn to the old when I consider which I would want to live in. I simply love the coziness of the older home. To me they have a certain character I just don't find in the newer houses. What I perceived as not being wrapped up in materialism, was really just living in the style of home I preferred all along.
The second thing I discovered? I am extremely materialistic in nature. I am clinging to my home like a drowning man to a plank in the sea! I don't want to give up my home to move. I don't want to give up any of my possessions either! I like my stuff way too much...I mean, what if my husband has to take a pay cut in all of this? Then what will we do? Seriously? This is what I am worrying about? I know God will provide for us. We will have food, clothing, and shelter. Isn't that enough? It should be. I know God has a plan in all of this. I know I need to trust in Him. I know if that means leaving possessions and family to follow His plan, that it will be for His purpose. It is time to let go of the plank and start swimming towards shore. I may not know what I will find there...but I know the man I love will be there, and that God will guide our strokes. Finding contentment in every circumstance...that is my lesson in this. It is time to let go and grow.