Wednesday, March 10, 2010

it all started with a Star Trek jacket

Yesterday morning, as I was blow drying my hair and "primping" for the day, the doorbell rang and a package was delivered. Before I go on, let me just say who doesn't love getting a new package in the morning? Even if you know in advance what the parcel may contain, it still seems like a little gift from the delivery man, doesn't it?

Anyway, that was the case for me... I knew what this package contained. For last week I had ordered the cutest knit jacket from one of my favorite online stores. It was one of those items I just HAD to have because it had a unique collar and came in a peacock green-blue color that I absolutely love. Since I've been losing weight, I decided that I could periodically splurge on a special, new piece of clothing from time-to-time as my size proved to be shrinking. So yesterday, the first NEW article of clothing arrived.

I was so excited, I couldn't wait to try it on and wear it. Rather than wait for an important event or particular occasion, I immediately put my new jacket on and headed out the door to our office. Once I arrived at work, my husband took one look at me and said, "That coat looks like something out of Star Trek."

Wait... what? Star Trek? I'll have you know that this coat is ALL THE RAGE! (...according to the world of Victoria) This coat is COOL! He agreed that he liked the color and then teased me a little more with one last, "Beam me up, Scotty." Then he prodded me to get to work. And that was that.

While acclimating myself to my office and thinking about how men just don't get it, I started to get a strong urge. An urge to forgo jumping back into my work and instead going online to order the same jacket in the color black. I could justify the extra purchase because I'd wear the black version at my Grandfather's memorial service this upcoming Saturday. Yes, yes... I NEEDED the jacket in black. Nothing else I owned would do.

To my computer I ran and quickly logged on to order another knit jacket - this time in black. Ahhh, good. Got it... and the last one in my size. Now that's done. Now I really must get to work. But wait, I could really use a new pair of shoes to go along with my new black jacket. And while I'm at it, I could get a new bag to match. No, no. I must work. I must get these to do's finished. I'll think about all that later. But not too much later, because time is of the essence.

For the remainder of the day, all I could think about was what I still "needed" to get. New shoes and a bag. New shoes and a bag. I didn't even think about the many, many pairs of shoes I already own, or the endless amount of bag options collecting dust in my closet. No, I just thought about why a NEW pair of shoes and a NEW bag were a good idea. New shoes and a bag. New shoes and a bag... this is where the mind of Victoria was focused on March 9, 2010.

By the time I got home, the first place I went to was my computer. I was ready to shop til' I dropped! Never mind my budget or other financial responsibilities... all I could think about was BUYING! I didn't know exactly what I'd end up with... shoes, a bag, maybe even a new necklace.... it didn't matter, I just knew that I was in NEED OF MORE. And the more I started surfing the Internet, the more ideas and items I saw that I desperately needed. Surely I could justify their purchase... you know, for Grandpa's memorial and all.

Sigh.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit got a hold of me. At one point, I glanced down at the sleeve of my knit jacket and remembered how much I really like it's peacock color. Then I realized that in less than eight hours, the jacket was already "so yesterday" to me. It was no longer new. In fact, Chuck was right... it really did look like a Star Trek top! (I'm sooo not cool!)

Mind you, my new black jacket, however, was on it's way... and it was still fresh in my mind. IT was something to get excited about! Then I heard God's still, small voice ask me, "Victoria, why is the black jacket cool and the peacock jacket so yesterday?"

Well, it's simple Lord... the black one hasn't yet been delivered. It is not in my possession yet. But when I get it, all will be fine. I'll have everything I need.

"But Victoria... it is the SAME jacket! Just a different color. And am I not all that you need?"

I sat there a minute blank faced. What the heck is wrong with me?

I immediately got up and went to my closet and looked at all the shoes and bags and clothes the Lord has lovingly provided to me throughout my adult life. Then I gulped. What kind of psycho needs another pair of black shoes when she already owns at least seven pairs? SEVEN PAIRS!!! And don't even get me started on how many bags I have. If I never bought another purse, I would still have more than enough to accommodate every outfit that I could possibly come up with for the rest of my life! While some folks in other countries (heck, in my country) are struggling for food and shelter, I'm obsessing about another new bag? Tell me, what is wrong with this picture?

When I realized how hungry my need to consume stuff had become (in less than a full day, mind you), I became embarrassed before my King. Now, I know it is not a sin to look cute in a new jacket... or to reward yourself for weight loss when you have the means to do so. But my urge to GET MORE MORE MORE was no longer about that. No, Satan had convinced me that I didn't have enough. He even used my Grandfather's passing as a means to justify that I needed more stuff. (What a jerk!) That evil enemy managed to persuade and redirect my focus. And I took the bait! As a result, my appetite was no longer about praising Jesus for an accomplishment resulting in His strength and guidance. No, my eyes were clouded with the cobwebs of new clothes... new shoes... and a new bag. So much so, that the thought of these items completely monopolized my mind for the greater part of yesterday. Rather than praising Jesus and meditating on His words and His way, I was looking to varying department stores for their thrilling forms of temporary fulfillment. How pathetic! If God hadn't stepped in, I would have likely ended up buying all sorts of nonsense that I really don't need and can't afford. And I'm confident that just like my Star Trek jacket, each item purchased would lose their novelty in less than a few hours. How ridiculous.

The psalmist prayed it best, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word." (Psalm 119:37) Yes, Lord. Turn my eyes away from these worthless things... let's get me back into your living word NOW!

Yesterday carried a great lesson for me. Among the many issues noted about my sinful appetite to consume and hoard more than I will ever need... most importantly, yesterday God's intervention made me rethink the whole idea of rewarding myself with fancy clothing when I see significant weight loss from my body. Rather than distract myself with more stuff (which is really weight in a different format), I think it would best honor Jesus if I gave those funds to someone who really does NEED. Sure, I'll still have to purchase some smaller sizes to clothe myself... but not in two different colors. Not with matching shoes, bags, jewelry. No, I have enough. He's given me MORE THAN ENOUGH. All those things, though exciting at first, are really worthless trinkets. They will one day collect dust. They will one day BECOME dust. No, nothing can compare to the blessing and honor of my Redeemer! Yes, He was right... He is ALL that I really need.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Words by Helen H. Lemmel, 1922)


I don't know about you, but it is clear to me how quickly I can lose focus on what really matters and become a selfish, hungry monster. Without my Savior and His focus... without His eyes to guide me, my appetite to feed my own fleshly longings would never be satisfied. In fact, my corrupt nature would overpower me so that I could not think straight. It is clear that to really LIVE, we must stop submitting to the enemy's distractions and allow Jesus to fill us up and preserve us rather than continue binding ourselves to this sinful world. Let's direct our hunger toward God's infinite faithfulness. For every new morning is a gift from The Master and a sign of His eternal love and presence in our lives. (Now that's a gift worth receiving!!!)

I am thankful for the many lessons that God brought to the forefront yesterday. I am grateful that He loves me enough to stop me in my tracks and expose my sin so that I can repent and be set free in His grace again and again. How great is the love of our Almighty Father in Heaven who only wants what is truly best for us? He is soooooo wonderful and good to His children. His way is the only way to lasting peace. Praise be His glorious Name forever and ever and ever! Hallelujah, I am free and I have more than enough. Precious Father. Sweet Jesus. Holy, Holy Spirit. YOU are my all in all. Amen!

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Blessings, ladies!
Blog Post Written By Victoria Anderson

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