June 12, 2014
No, give generously to needy persons. Don’t resent giving to them because it is this very thing that will lead to the Lord your God’s blessing you in all you do and work at.
I’m in love. With my new carpet.
We moved into our house nine years ago. The main hallway and the master bedroom had 1990’s maroon carpet. While it was once a nice carpet, it was covered with wear spots. Every little piece of lint or light-colored particle glared off the dark carpet. While vacuuming I would think, “Soon, this will be the last time I’ll have to vacuum this carpet.” It is now true.
Several years ago during a sermon, I spoke about how often when we get new things, their allure soon wears off. We often take “wants” and translate them into “needs.” I encouraged people to think about how long a new purchase REALLY makes them happy.
The next time I appealed to Rick about new carpet, he said something like this, “So how long do you really think new carpet will make you happy?” I hate it when this happens.
This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I could take the money carpet would cost and put it towards a water well in Africa. I could make a nice donation to the “No Malaria” campaign. I could help fund the local food pantry for a month.
Honestly, I’ve been coveting new carpet for nine years. Two years ago, a nice woman came, measured and gave me quotes. I had the money saved. Instead, I went with my friend Kristin to Argentina. I saved the money again but felt I could not justify new carpet while unemployed last summer/fall.
A few weeks ago, I stopped at the same carpet shop. I found an acceptable carpet on sale. The nice woman still had the measurements. I could get the high-end pad for the cost of the entry-level pad if I ordered quickly. I ordered carpet for the master bedroom and the living room. Today, as my feet squish across the soft new fibers, I’m in love. I almost don’t want to put the furniture back. But we need a bed to sleep on and to get to the vacuum cleaner.
It makes me feel a little better that my friend Mary Ann is going to put the well-worn maroon carpet in her basement. Even the carpet layers were a little puzzled that someone actually wanted it saved! (Sorry, Mary Ann.)
I’m not sure how long this new carpet will REALLY make me happy. Carpet isn’t more important than many other things in this world. I have decided to tithe the cost of the carpet to a special project. It is one tiny way I can turn my want into fulfilling a need for someone else. I believe God desires for us to be happy, to enjoy special things in life … and to be gracious givers in light of our blessings. I don’t expect God to bless me because I have new carpet. But I can take this experience and bless someone else in light of it. Thanks be to God.
It is so humbling to see how I am blessed by you, Lord God. How all of my needs and so many of my wants are fulfilled. May I see that happiness comes more from you than from material things. Develop deep within me the desire to bless others who have so much less than I do. Amen.
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