Fast forward two days, and it dawned on me that it was ridiculous to want to replace a perfectly good nappy bag with a better one in order to travel to a country where people make homes out of political posters (and whatever else they can find). I was reminded of Zukiswa's comments on the recent South African elections:
After today my street lights will not be littered by mugs of politicians and parties. The posters will however become useful elsewhere. I have noticed in the past that they tend to come in handy for some of my enterprising fellow-citizens (I am thinking here of an old poster that I saw in some informal settlement some months back covering the dwellers from the summer rain. The poster said, Vote ANC, A Better Life for All.)
I am not saying there is anything wrong with fantastic nappy bags. However, there is something wrong with the desire to replace good, sufficient things with better ones. This goal is what our consumer society is built upon. It leads to greed and waste, and diverts money that could be used for God's kingdom. I don't have a hard life and I don't have a "right" to have better things.
God has used a few things to drive home this reminder not to be covetous. One is the ABC sampler I'm making for Elnathan's room. The verse on the sampler reads ". . . For one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Luke 12:15b". There is a picture of a flourishing garden and a home, basic things and places that sustain us.
Secondly, God used 1 John 2:15 - 17 to remind me that chasing after possessions is not godly.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions - is not from the Father but from the world.And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.Femina blog has several articles about contentment. I find that it is easy to be discontent about many things - from the amount of time it takes me just to do the laundry, feed Elnathan or wash up, to the behaviour of people close to me, to my level of knowledge and mental ability. Just about anything can become something to be discontent about. A prayer in the Valley of Vision reminds me that it is how we respond to our circumstances, not those circumstances themselves, that matters . . . "may my character and not my circumstances chiefly engage me." This is just one aspect of the long journey toward truly trusting God. Do I trust God that he has provided me with enough possessions, ability, knowledge, health etc. for this time in my life? Not yet, but I pray that I will.