The Choice is Yours
by Terri Bonin
Last week the kids and I ventured out to our local Butterfly Museum. We greatly anticipated the soft, feather-like creatures floating by, landing on our shoulders, and posing for the camera.
However, it was a bit more than a few of my kids expected.
Halle (my-then-2-year-old) flew through the door and down the concrete stairs of the Butterfly Museum without a care.
Until I hollered, “Halle, look up!”
The flying ceiling caught her off guard and she ducked and screamed and ran for cover.
Which proved to be her next problem…
There is no cover in a Butterfly Museum. There are only trees covered in butterflies, rocks covered in butterflies, and platforms layered with more butterflies. Not a happy situation for someone trying to ESCAPE butterflies!
The scene was rather comical. She thought she wanted to be surrounded by butterflies, but when her wish came true, she realized it frightened her.
Then there was my 13-year-old dressed in red. We missed the memo stating that butterflies flock to red like delicate bulls out of an open gate looking for a place to land. She was in a constant state of swatting the back of her shirt, “Is that my tag or a butterfly? Check again!”
She learned that a few butterflies are fun, but thousands can be troublesome.
My husband and I have been known to joke that if a little is good, then a WHOLE LOT must be better. That practice has gotten us in trouble more times than we’ll admit.
It’s gotten most of us in trouble if we’ll be honest.
I think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the little boy that gorged himself on chocolate. A little was good, so he ate A LOT!
Greed is in our human nature and it steals peace, joy, and happiness from us. Contentment is a choice. It’s a choice that frees the soul to live a full, happy life in whatever circumstance.
When the Apostle Paul was in prison he was content. He was cold and hungry, yet he practiced contentment. (Philippians 4:11)
John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress wrote that great book in a filthy prison cell unfit for even an animal to live. Yet, he did not spend his days grumbling about what he lacked, he rested in what he had- life, pen and paper – and in turn gave the world the second greatest book ever written (In my opinion.)
Discontentment feeds greed, which steals joy and spoils families. If we have food and shelter, we have all we need. Make a list of all the extras God has blessed you with and consider sharing them with others. The list might look something like this:
24 pairs of shoes
A closet full of clothes
A drawer full of jewelry
A refrigerator stuffed with food
A car (or 3)
More kitchen tools than cabinet space
More dishes than people to feed in a week.
More home accessories than can be dusted in an hour.
Just enough can be the biggest blessing when it comes to stuff. Having an abundance is not a bad thing until it becomes a burden. If you feel weighed down and burdened by too much laundry and too much dusting then consider (Acts 20:35) “It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” and start blessing your neighbors. We can’t take wood, hay, and stubble with us when we die, so why spend so much time worrying about it? Give away that which you don’t need. Too much can overtake a life with responsibility and stress. Stuff takes up space, money, and time. We own it, so we must insure it, maintain it, move it, keep up with it, think about this….
Would you rather dust your stuff or fly to Italy? Consider how much time and money you want to spend on stuff and then make adjustments and experience freedom. Bigger and more do not necessarily equate to better.
SO many times we strive to obtain that which we think we want, only to discover that it‘s not what we thought, having lost that which was really important in the process. If you are in debt, stretched for time, and burdened with things, consider shedding some wood, hay, and stubble. Trim down your material responsibilities and save the extra money that is freed up. Bless those closest to you with more time and bless those in need with your stuff.
Shed some stuff…REST in CONTENTMENT and find JOY in the process.