Monday, May 21, 2012

Shelfish Brat


I love the grocery store. If it had of been up to me, we would have gotten married in Publix and moved over to the Costco food court for the reception. HUGE parking lots, multi-stall bathrooms, great lighting, water fountains.  The sample stations would have really classed things up a notch.  Need I go on?

I'd also venture to say that one of the toughest parts of the first few weeks of baby is not being able to peruse through the supermarket at my preferred pace of 6 aisles per hour. Now I've got to---gasp---"get in, and get out".

Reveling in my passion for shiny metal shopping carts, coupled with the fact that I coupon, means that my pantry rivals a nicely sized jiffy mart. Our friend Luke calls it the Apocalypse Now Pantry. He rarely exaggerates.  This picture really does NOT do it justice.

Let me remind you that until 4 weeks ago, there were just two of us plus a dog living in this house.  Let's not even talk about the freezer.  And even now, the additional human only eats byproducts of things from the pantry.

All of these aforementioned things are okay, until you add in my ugly and greedy heart. Our church was doing one of those food drives, where you fill up a grocery bag and bring it back the next week. I love these things, in theory, until I come home and have to face my pantry shelves. For some reason, I only want to part with the expired, gross, and half-eaten.  When I can get all of these things for free, I validate taking them off the shelf because I am going to donate them.

Yeah.  Right.

This particular instance, everything on the "desperately needed" list was accounted for, at least once, within my pantry. The peanut butter, for example, was a particular struggle.  Remember this?  Yeah, not too long ago I had picked up 10 (T-E-N) jars of peanut butter for pennies on the dollar.  Yet I couldn't stop convincing myself that I would need those before another sale cycle returned.

How ridiculous is this?  Do the Duggars even use 10 jars of peanut butter in a month?

I will spare you all of the embarrassing thoughts that ran through my mind that afternoon.  Just know things got ugly.  What went down: there was some eye closing, some random grabbing, some stuffing of things in the bag, and with still diverted eyes, I tossed the bag into the car and took it to church that same night.  What is wrong with me?!?!!?  How could I possibly be so blessed, but still hold onto GROCERIES like we are on rations.

I'll tell you why.  Because I am selfish.  The opposite of selfless.  And this isn't the first time I have contorted my fist so tightly around things I have no business hoarding.  I can be so wrecklessly greedy, but what would happen if the opposite was true?  What if I would truly give someone the shirt off my back?  My favorite shirt, the only shirt in my entire closet that fits me appropriately at this time in my life?  It is easy to give out of the Goodwill pile.  But spend our $30 shared monthly clothing budget on someone else?  Not so much.

What would God have me do?  I don't know, but He has my attention.  I have started reading through Jen Hatmaker's book, 7.  It is so challenging to think about what life would be like without greed.  Do I have faith enough to believe that God will provide?

Ya'll, read this:

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with gettingso you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

Well I'll say.

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