So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” (Matthew 6:31)
These days, everybody is looking for something more clever, more fast, more unique, more hard to find, more desirable. The old things just aren’t looking as good anymore. They aren’t shiny anymore. At least not in the same way the new ones are. Usually each next big thing is a modified copy of the past big thing. It’s a little different, but the same. It’s a sleeker, more modern model, but ultimately, it really is the same thing. A car is still a car, and a pair of jeans is still, well, a pair of jeans.
Matthew 6:28-34 teaches us not to worry about the clothes we wear. And though it doesn’t specifically say not to worry about getting a brand new car or an X-Box 360, maybe we should take that teaching and apply to these wants in our lives. Even if you hop into the race thinking getting the next big thing might make you happy, it doesn’t seem like the next big thing ever really satisfies. We get it, and then automatically begin looking for something different, better, more appealing. This is because new things start becoming old the second you get them.
Even more dangerously, sometimes the “finding next best thing” game spills over outside of the commercial realm, and people become the object we are looking to upgrade. Friends and romantic endeavors get used and passed on, while on a search for the next best thing. Take an attractive guy or girl and size him/her up to yourself or your significant other. And then look for the next best thing: Someone prettier, funnier, smarter. It’s just that simple, and it happens all the time. I think it becomes dangerous when we begin looking at people as if we have them all figured out, rather than engaging each other as unique interesting beings filled with ideas, stories and life experiences unlike our own.
One of the root problems with this “finding the next big thing” phenomena is that we are confusing want and need. Just because we want something doesn’t mean we need it. And just because we want it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to get it.
In the last year I’ve decided to lead a simpler life. I’m not saying taking these steps is for everyone, but it feels good to save money and pay off student loans. I’ve started to actually budget and watch where the money goes instead of just spending on whatever I want whenever I want it. And I have to say; it’s been satisfying. The funny thing is I don’t feel like I am in want or need for everything. It’s been a full, rich year. Maybe taking a long look into yourself and coming to God for answers prayerfully will help you take the steps to lead a fuller, richer life also—even without the stuff.
Dear Father, thank You for all the gifts You have given me. I don’t want to ever take them for granted. Let me be satisfied with all that you give me.