What We Want

An old man worked hard ferrying passengers across a wide deep river in his little boat. One day as he was getting the boat ready for his next trip across the water he spotted a muddy lamp under a discarded tire. He pulled the lamp out from under the tire and stuck it in his boat. He took his passengers across the river. On the return trip he pulled the lamp out and dunked it into the water to clean it. A genie swirled out of the spout and told the man he had three wishes.

“My arm hurts,” the old man said. “Heal my arm.”

The genie did.

“I want to be young again,” the old man said. “Make me young again.”

The genie did.

“I want to be rich,” the old man said. “Fill up this boat with gold.”

The genie did.

The boat sank and the man died.

From time to time we all wish for things that have been withheld from us. Perhaps a lovely house overlooking the sea. We envision life in a beautiful home overlooking scenic glory as blissful…but we don’t know what goes on inside the walls.

Perhaps an exotic vacation to foreign lands (for me, a warm foreign land). We imagine the joy and think of the fun we would have—but we don’t see the stress; the sickness caused by bad water; the theft from the hotel room, the passport or stolen bank card.

Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.”

For years, I’ve wanted my hair to grow longer. Every time it got to a decent length, the ends would need to be trimmed and it would be shorter again. With the lockdown, there are no beauty salons open and I’m scandalously bad at cutting or trimming hair. So my hair has finally grown long. And I can’t reach the ends in back when I brush it. It is so fine that it won’t stay in any kind of fastener and it gets hopelessly tangled in the wind. It blows across my eyes so I can’t see. It gets in my mouth. It gets caught under me at night. And…

We all want that boatload of gold. We forget that every physical thing we own on this earth can sink, be stolen, get old, or break. We are pilgrims passing through this earth on the way to Heaven where boats don’t sink.

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World’s Worst Shopper

Uvalde Bible Land (I did the cement work, not the figures

Perhaps I’m not the world’s worst shopper—but I must be close.

I hate shopping. Media hype insists that women have a “shopping gene.” I don’t. To me, shopping is a waste of time. I’d rather be writing, painting, walking, doing rockwork, mixing cement, taking photos of dangerous animals.

I already have everything I need. I couldn’t always say this. There were many times as a single parent when I counted out coins, sold my valuable coin collection to have enough money to go to the laundry mat, took additional jobs including climbing ladders to pick apples—did anything that was needed to get what was needed. But I am blessed. I’m not wealthy, I don’t have extra—but I have enough.

Ads are wasted on me. I’m too busy. Be it through the mail, on the computer, or on billboards, ads don’t sway me. I don’t see them. I don’t read them. For me, they might as well not exist.

If being broke transformed a person into a shopper, I should thrive in shopping malls. I lived under a bridge. I washed myself and my clothes in the river—winter and summer. I traveled around the U.S. looking for employment in states that paid more money to workers. I drove to new locations with everything I owned in the back of the pickup truck and slept on top of the load because I didn’t have money for a motel. But I hate shopping.

That being said, I love giving. And sometimes, giving to someone requires a shopping trip.

If my abhorrence of shopping seems weird to some folks, that’s okay. My assurance is in 1 Timothy 6:6, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain,” and in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned whatever state I am, to be content.”

I hate shopping—and I’m content with that.

Uvalde Bible Land (I did the cement work, not the figures

https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1