Mar. 9, 2013
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
After I returned from living overseas for a year, I realized I didn’t have a toaster. I think I threw the previous one away. My sister had just gotten a new toaster, so she gave me her old toaster. If I recall, she received my newly inherited toaster for a wedding present. She said that it would get my by until I got a new toaster.
It’s a very simple toaster. Nothing fancy about it. Only room for two pieces of bread. No wide slots. One adjustment for light and dark. But I have used this toaster many days a week for almost the last 14 years. Yup, 14 years later and the tie-me-over toaster is still in use.
Maybe I keep it because there is a place in the cupboard right next to the stove where it fits perfectly. (I’m not crazy about lots of things on the counter.) While there have been times I have wished for a wide-slot toaster so bagels would not get stuck, apparently there have been other things I have wished for even more because a new toaster has never even made a shopping list.
As I get a little older, my desire to accumulate things has changed. I have decided that simple is good enough. I try to be mindful and really only purchase things that I a) really need; b) really love or c) is replacing something else. Of course, clothing and shoes do not always fit one of those three categories. If I were totally honest, I occasionally still buy things when the price is just too good to pass up or as a splurge treat.
We live in a disposable society. Rarely, do things actually get fixed. It is often more cost-effective just to purchase new. Or when an old appliance or gadget no longer fits the current color scheme of a room, we feel we must buy new, rather than finding a way to accommodate the no longer color appropriate item. There does seem to be a slight trend to repurposing things these days. I love seeing these things Unfortunately, I do not have this creative gene.
I’ve been trying to fast from buying things unless I really need it. Not only has it allowed for a little more cash in the check book, I spend less time shopping, whether on-line or in-store. Yes, I have been shopping, including running some errands yesterday. But it has been refreshing not to put so much energy into shopping.
What this has reminded me is that sometimes little shifts in behavior, energy and thought process make a difference in how I view my life. Sometimes, we expect that we have to make huge changes for life to be different. I am becoming more convinced that slight shifts and changes really are important. Not only are they more realistic, they can have more impact over the long haul.
Someday, I will buy a new toaster. There is a good chance I’ll go grocery shopping yet today. What I am discovering is that it really is wonderful to put less thought into things that pull me away from where I want to be. Simple really is good.
How easily our lives get cluttered with things. Simply living with whatever he could carry, Jesus was anything but high-needs. May we choose to fast from consumerism and instead find solace and content within your loving arms. Amen.