I remember about a year ago I was having a conversation with an uncle in Singapore who was telling me that my brother's camera which I'd borrowed for my holiday was outdated. He was telling me and showing me all the latest gadgets that he owned. I can tell you that for the past God knows how long that I've never ever had a phone that was the latest model or anything. To this day I still don't and the phone I currently have is also not "brand spanking new latest model hoohar". Why? Because I know that there's no point for me in chasing such things and that if I buy something that will be suited to my "needs" (technically wants) then I am blessed to even have such a thing. I've grown up being fairly uninterested in the latest gadgets, maybe it's because of the way I grew up. I don't need the latest model of everything and I don't need to be a customer of the dominating brands in today's market.
Yesterday I bought a new phone because my old phone was being dodgy. 1/5th of my screen wasn't sensitive anymore and a little section down the bottom where the keyboard is (which I can't really locate where..) was too. It made texting and calling people a whole lot more difficult and I'd have to rotate my phone to locate the half of the keyboard which would work in a small section of my phone. I spent like a week deciding on what phone I should get, comparing all these specs and finding out what foreign terms (to me) like RAM and ghZ(?) and dual-core or quad-core mean. Then I realised today that although an important decision to make in how I'm going to use the money in my hands, but also how ridiculously privileged we are to have choices for such things.
I don't think buying the latest gadgets are wrong, but when we start chasing things of this world, we become slaves to it. For example, if you lost your phone, how would you react? And would your reaction be proportional or even reasonable? Frustrating of course, but it wouldn't require you to start punching holes in walls etc, no? Would you post a facebook status about it? Maybe instagram to tell people about the old phone you're forced to use which has no internet and how you have to get a new crappier plan for the time being? Now I'm not saying we can't make an effort to find our belongings, but in the situation where it cannot be found how should we react? I think we should choose gratitude and live to the standard that we've been called to, living with an open hand - with both tangibles and intangibles. I'm not saying that's easy, but I'm saying that with God, it's possible. I'm reminded of a story I heard a long time ago.
One day Dr. Henry was riding his horse on the way to a church meeting where he was the guest speaker. As he journeyed through the dense forest a masked bandit suddenly appeared with a gun. He demanded that Henry dismount and hand over all of his money. Fearing for his life, he quickly complied as the robber returned into the woods.Choose gratitude in everything. I am so. incredibly. blessed. to be loved by the Creator. I want you to repeat that in your head. Even say it out loud if you must. You are so blessed!
As he continued his journey, now penniless, he thought about God’s command to “give thanks in all circumstances.” How do you give thanks when you’re robbed? As he reflected, the answer came to him. That night Matthew Henry concluded his message by telling the story of what happened and how he could be thankful.
“First,” he said, “I am thankful I have never been robbed before. Second, I am thankful he took my money and not my life. Third, I am thankful he did not take more; he could have taken my horse and my clothes as well. Next, I am thankful that what I had stolen from me really did not amount to very much. Then I am grateful that what I lost, in time, could be replaced. But, finally, and most importantly, I am thankful that I was the one robbed and not the robber!”
I might not own a double storey house, heck, I can't even afford my own car! But you know what? Comparison is one thing that will keep you from experiencing joy in the present. It stops you from being thankful for the things you've been abundantly blessed with. We are so so so blessed to have Jesus in our lives and yet He blesses and continues to bless us. We're so blessed for the things, the people, the air we breathe, food - everything in our lives. Choose gratitude.