20
Mar
08

Greed

I really hate things being wasted…maybe that, in part, is why I’m such a packrat. In August, we brought 2 large moving trucks to Nashville for 2 reasons: I have a hard time parting with alot of things, and I didn’t want to have to replace what I was throwing away. That would be wasteful in terms of time and money. So needless to say, I have alot of junk in my house that I keep moving from one place to another. I cleaned out a closet today, but nothing got thrown out; I just moved everything to do a different spot…hmm…not very productive after all.  I always think that I might be able to use “this thing” someday, so I hang on to whatever it is, and it gets buried in the back of a closet.  For instance, today I found plastic cups that I didn’t even know I had…which I then moved to a different location…maybe next time I’ll be able to find them when I need them or even remember I have them…probably not…

Whenever I see a pile in front of someone’s house, I am immediately drawn to it.   In fact, when I was 6 months pregnant with my 3rd son, I salvaged a well-used Lil Tikes workshop from someone’s junk pile.  Hauling it into the back of my van as water from the workshop dumped all over me and the inside of my van was nice, but I was determined to rescue my treasure and show it off to Jeff.  He’s never quite as excited as I am about my finds because he knows he’s going to be loading them in and off moving trucks for the rest of his life.

A couple days ago, my daughter Julia dumped a 16 oz. cup of water into an animal cracker container that was almost full. I’m not talking about a little box of animal crackers; I’m talking about the Sam’s Club size, almost 5 pounds of animal crackers now swimming in water. My first thought after I stopped yelling was “maybe I can leave the top off, and they’ll dry out”…seriously.  But my relationships should be more important to me than my being concerned about the people around me wasting anything ever.  My judgmental attitude toward people who I think are wasteful has actually been harmful to me.  Just looking at Jesus’ life, He was definitely into relationships over anything else.  He did have the disciples gather the leftover food into baskets on two occasions…but that probably wasn’t the point…

I know my issues are bigger than waste though;  it boils down to greed for me. It all comes back to me wanting more. I don’t want my neighbors’ stuff; I want my neighbors’ junk or half-eaten food…how odd.  My frugality is just another form of greediness, because if I handle money well, I can get more stuff.  I recently came across a passage in the Message in Proverbs 23 that says “Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad; don’t expect anything special. He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself; he’ll say, ‘Eat! Drink!’ but won’t mean a word of it. His miserly serving will turn your stomach when you realize the meal’s a sham.” Being overly concerned about waste is just not something that I imagine alot of people struggle with…but for me it’s turned into a self-righteous kind of greed…

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