My Comp classes are reading an essay entitled "Swollen Expectations." In summary, the essay compares 1950s America with the turn-of-the-century America. The authors compare houses, cars, vacations, food, and innovations like televisions. Part of their argument is that our society is suffering from affluenza. We are constantly wanting items that are bigger and better, not because we need bigger items, but because society's expectations have grown to the point where bigger is the norm.
This essay made me think about my expectations for the way I live. I know that there are many items I would like to own or have that are simply a desire created out of swollen expectations: newer, nicer furniture; more clothes; a nicer yard; exotic vacations; etc. Then today, one of my coworkers reminded me of how fleeting the items on earth are and why we can only rely on God. She is acquainted with a couple who lived in Galveston, TX and was affected by the latest hurricane. This couple was lucky in that their house only has a foot of water in it, but it might be a year before they can move back into their house. A restoration company has told them that they might be able to salvage some of their furniture and other possessions. Since flooding caused the damage, there is a possibility that their possessions will not be covered by their insurance company. They both also worked on the island, so they have been without jobs since the hurricane struck. Apparently they have just found out that the will no longer be receiving money from their former jobs in the middle of November.
It only takes an instant for all that we own to be destroyed. As my coworker was telling me about this couple, my first thought was why would anyone want to spend a significant amount of money on furniture when the possibility exists that it can all be destroyed in a fire, tornado, flood. It would be easier to deal with these types of losses if the possessions we had did not have any real significant value to us. I bet this is why God tells us not to worry about these issues and not to pursue worldly goods. I'm not trying to say that we shouldn't have nice possessions, but this couple's story has made me reevaluate my priorities. It would be much better to invest my money in God's kingdom rather than in newer furniture for my house.