The last few days, few weeks lately I have been opining to various friends of mine how I really disklike not having money. I sit there and complain about how I wish I had the money to go out and enjoy better food, or a chance to travel or go on vacation, or do the things in life my other friends do.
First, I know that part of this is my fault. Well, most of it. I was the one who ran up the credit card bills so I don't have a lot of credit right now. I know some of it wasn't my fault per se in that I didn't know I was going to have hospital bills up the you know what or that my computer would die on me right before my last year of college when I was going to need it most and then had to purchase a new one on credit so all those nifty papers I had to write and all those lesson plans I had to print out could be done. But some of those late night pizzas and trips to Blue Bricks or BWs with my friends didn't have to happen either. Or I could have had water instead of beer or even pop. But I did because I was young and foolish and that is that. That being said I should have been an engineer like Josh or a lawyer like Ben and I would be making much more money than I am as a teacher but once again I chose my path. This time I have no regrets because I do love teaching and I love music and I don't mind being a servant to others because I feel that helping people become wholesome people is more important than having a mustang and a latptop and a couple guitars.....wait, I guess I got those anyways :D.
So back to the original story.
I have bemoaning the fact that I have no money lately to some friends and I am sure they are getting sick of it. I have wondered why I couldn't just win the lottery (I don't really play it is just a dream) or have some random prize sent to me for being the 1 billionth person to walk into Shopko or something. Actually, I don't need that much money that I am one of those rich people even (is what I tell my friends). I just want enough that my credit cards are at 0 and I can take the hard earned money that I make every pay check and save some and find a place to live with a garage and have cable tv so I can watch the Twins instead of following them online. Then I would save and I could do my vacations and I could go out to eat once a week to a restaurant that doesn't have greasy floors and the word "fast" attached to their food.
So I am reading Donald Miller again. He really is my favorite author in many ways. If you haven't read his books I highly recommend them. The one I started is called "Searching for God Knows What". I have read "Blue Like Jazz" dozens of times and I have given a couple of my own copies away (and yes I had to buy new ones for myself and yes they went on those credit cards again but I don't regret it).
Quote from Chapter 1 which I started last night when I was feeling a little hermit-like and tired. "But the facts of reality stink," I told him. "Reality is like a fine wine," he said to me. "It will not appeal to children."
Once again God is so wonderful because He took something that was on my mind and showed me something that made me think. And He even gave me the brains to allow me to think!
I was so struck by those words I read them right before I turned out the light last night and when I woke up this morning I read them again right away.
I started thinking of how I could take my reality and start treating it like fine wine rather than a lousy beer I was just drinking to be a good guest. How I could savor it. How could I treat it like it was something special?
I started to think of all those people that have whatever they want because they have money. I started to even think of those stereotypical snob kids from movies when you see them and how bratty they are. And I realized that reality is like a fine wine. And it won't appeal to children. Donald Miller was right. As kids we want the dream, the happily ever after. We want everything handed to us on a platter. We want the opportunity to but it all. And our parents even teach us that is ok to want that. (not a knock on parents, I know they want the best for their kids as I would want the best for mine too.)
I sit this morning and think of my reality and how it is special that not everyone can experience it in the same way I do. How it is special when I get to have steak or lobster or other seafood and how I savor it and it is special in my mind. (people who can have it whenever they want just see it as food). The fact that I still catch myself staring at my car and mentally pinching myself that it isn't a dream and yes I own a mustang and it looks that cool to me. (people who can buy 4 cars don't see them like that they just are collectibles). The excitement when I can afford new strings on my guitar and how I love the way they feel and sound for those first few days (some people change them once a week just to change them and it is just the normal feel to them). The blessed relief of breaking down and turning my air conditioning on during the hottest of days and then I wait half an hour for my room to cool down before walking in to feel it. (if you have always had central air you don't know the bliss of that first walk in moment!).
How much do I experience in my life that I love that others take for granted because they can afford it in the first place? I love my couple vacations I get and when I do go out to eat and all the other little things that others can't because they are a normal part of their lives.
So in a way, I experience more wonder and special times in my life because the every day things in others lives become my high points. And it is not like I am doing without. I just have less.
I start to feel sorry for some of my friends that make so much money they can do what they want when they want and they always go out and buy new things or own more things. Are they trying to buy happiness? I don't think that is possible a lot of the time and all you end up with is stuff. Stuff that clutters your house and makes you need to have garage sales or to throw it out. And it doesn't bring you happiness. A gun, a boat, a suburban, a camper, and so many other things my friends have purchased recently. I am happy for them. I don't wish they hadn't gotten them. And I don't reprimand them for buying things because I like to buy things too. But my reality doesn't have them in that and I am going to try and treat my reality like a fine wine from now on. Savoring My life the way it is and enjoying My ways in the world.
More later I am sure; I realize Donald Miller can get me to think deep thoughts like no other author~