Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wooed by New

The final day of VBS, my van got bumped in the parking lot. It was a friend, and we said we'd check into getting it fixed. Well, Mike spoke to her husband and we went ahead and took it in today to see what would be required. So, I ended up with a 2008 Dodge Caravan while mine is in the shop. Now, I must mention that our van is a 1999. It doesn't do much more than drive. The lights turn on and off, the doors open when WE open them. There is no space in the floor to put whatever you would store there, there isn't a deep trunk. We did have a TV/VCR/DVD player installed when we were both working, but other than that, it drives. It's nice, don't get me wrong, but it's a '99. I should mention that we own that van. It's ours, no payments.

Our appointment was today, so I packed a few snacks (forgetting we might be in a new car) and left. I gave the kids my little talk before we got out of the van, "Alright guys, now we're gonna go in there and you are going to sit quietly. I need you to not speak to me because I don't know what I'm doing and I need to be able to think." They did awesome. So, we did all the stuff that we needed to do, and they pulled the rental van around. It's a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with Sto-and Go capabilities. I didn't get the van that opened on it's own, which is great because that is one feature I do not need to get used to! I loaded our nasty old car seats, buckled everyone up, and off we went to play at a friend's house. I actually felt bad putting our carseats in there because they have so many crumbs and yuck in them that it fell out a little bit on the floor while I was loading them, which prompted this question, "How clean does this have to be when I bring it back?" In any event, I was wooed. It smelled new, it looked new, it had to be better than my old van. That's when this little post started to evolve.

As I was driving down the road I thought, "It would be nice to drive a brand new van." The air is blowing ice-cold, the steering wheel isn't dirty and covered with I don't want to know what! The carpet doesn't have ground up food in it, or gum, or silly putty (whatever... I know I shouldn't let them play with it in the car...but they were so QUIET!!!) It's new. I love new. I love new shoes, I love new shirts, (I don't love new pants because I have a "problem area") I love, love, LOVE new school supplies. New friends, new furniture, gosh...I just like new. I know that I am not alone on this. I am easily wooed by new.

I started to think of why I like new and the answer is because old gets old. We fall out of love with our things as soon as they start showing their age. I bought 3 shirts last year from one of my favorite stores, they are fine shirts this year, but I don't love them like I did last year! I want NEW ones. I have a fabulous pair of leather flip flops that I bought last year, again, still love them, but not as much. Our appetite for more and more new is enormous and is not easily satisfied. As I thought about why I don't just go and buy a ridiculous amount of new I remembered it's because of our budget, our commitment to being a one income family, and the drawer that is already packed super tight with shirts that are just fine! I don't need anything. This verse came to mind...

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14

I want to be so satisfied in the knowledge of God and who He is, that I do not even notice when my things age. I want Him to satisfy me so that I don't have to have more new stuff in order to feel excited about something. A few other verses I found, that I loved, are as follows:

"You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." Psalm 145:16

"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance." Isaiah 55:2 NAS

"And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones, and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11 NAS

The last verse is a promise of what God will do if His people will fast and repent. I love that picture. That God will satisfy us in scorched places. I live in a VERY hot place. Our grass is rather dead, and we have to stay inside to be careful of heat related illnesses. I just picture someone absolutely thriving in this sort of spiritual climate because of the LORD. That our bones would be given strength. What a promise! That beats automatic doors hands down! I know that crisis hits, it has hit us this year, and I know that it has hit some of you as well. God's word says that even in the most ridiculous times...the scorched places, He will satisfy our desires. That is life to me.

Now, before you go believing that God is against new things, hear this...God is against us using new things to satisfy our weary bones. He is against new things becoming our source of satisfaction and delight. That is His role to fill in our lives. He is the giver of all good things, but the one thing that He will not give is His glory to another. So, don't take your van back just yet for a hoopty. Step back and evaluate, where is my satisfaction?

My satisfaction isn't always in the glory of God. Sometimes it's in new things, sometimes it's in weird things...this blog, my's not always in Christ. Oh that it would be one day. One of my favorite hymns is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and this particular verse has always spoken to me.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above

I love the idea that He would bind my heart to Him. So, we're not buying a new car. I'm satisfied, but not in my car. Not today anyway! So, spend some time in His being satisfied. I hope that was a nice cup of water for was for me!


Sharon said...

Yeah...the wanting new has gotten us where we are....but we are determined to get out of debt and that means "lay off the New" Well, we try at least.

Dixie said...

I've got you beat in the van area! Ours is a 98! We bought it off ebay right before we left Augusta in 2004. I really know what you mean about wanting new. Our van is fine, it's in good shape, it's paid for..what's not to be satisfied with. When I spend more time in the van than I do in my house, maybe THEN I'll want one that has a tv and heated seats and definitely more storage...but til then, I'll be satisfied that it does drive.
Thanks for the reminder


Sara said...

good stuff. i don't know if it's harder for people who do or don't have money. i guess it's just a challenge to follow God whatever your circumstances.

Hadassah said...

What a great post, Ali. Becoming bored with the old, and excited about the new is why I refuse to spend a lot of money of a fancy-schmancy purse. I'd just get bored with it.

That verse from Is 58 comes from one of my FAVORITE passages of Scripture!

...then your like will break forth like the morning, and your darkness will be like the noonday, the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, you will be like a well watered garden, whose waters never cease....

(from memory, don't quote me, I'm too lazy to look it up right now.)

Just His Best said...

ahhh, yes. what a check in the spirit!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Little did I know that when I hit you with that gentle bump :) that such amazing things would come out of it. It is almost worth it! Thank you for speaking right to me tonight. I am trying so hard to change my "wanting ways for things" and have begun to replace them with "wanting for Jesus." Amazing how that works. Kathy