Saturday, November 21, 2009

the verdict is in...

Based on the comments, I see that I have both angels and devils sitting on my shoulders. Thanks guys.

I've made my choice. I feel good. And, surprisingly, I learned so much more than I anticipated. What seemed like an insignificant, run-of-the-mill experience became a choice with spiritual implications, so much more than just to keep a coat, or not. We all have our weak areas, one of mine, and one of many, being: shopping, clothes, self-restraint. I think God takes these weaknesses, and the choices we make concerning them, to promote self-discovery and strengthen our character (if we seek His help amidst the struggle). Sadly (for my worldly-self), this decision was a struggle. However, I think I'm a little stronger, a little wiser, because of it.

I'm a firm believer that God wants to be a part of our lives, even, and especially in the little things. The seemingly insignificant things. Therefore, I believe that God was interested in my feelings about the "it-spoke-to-me coat." I talked to Him. Prayed to Him. And He talked back. Not through a voice in my mind, but through reading. God knows my obsession with reading, so he knew that communicating with me through what I read would most likely get His point across. It's funny to me how forthright God is with me sometimes.

Throughout my day, picking up random books, magazines, here's a tidbit of the things "shown" to me (I added italics for what "hit" me):

"For each of our individual activities, we should ask ourselves, Is it right? Is it wise? Is it helpful? Is it profitable? Our small troubles may be the result of our imprudence..."

"In every way, Jesus taught us to always use good judgment and to learn to reason logically and think effectively. We learn wisdom by practice and by being obedient to wise instruction..."

"Usually we don't fall down in life because of our sins. Our biggest problems come because we are unwise. The more foolish things we do, the more unwise we become. The more wise things we do, the wiser we become. Wisdom feeds upon itself..."

"Job points out that 'man knoweth not the price' of wisdom. He said, 'It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir.' He said, '...the price of wisdom is above rubies.'"

Proverbs 16:16 "How much better is it to get wisdom than gold (aka an it-spoke-to-me-coat)."

Proverbs 8:11 "The price of wisdom is above rubies." Or, wisdom is worth the sacrifice of the Kenneth Cole, flax-colored coat of my dreams.

"...a temperate soul--one who is humble and full of love--is also a person if increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation....With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today's world."

Well, I got the point. I realized that I wanted to learn wisdom, self-mastery, more than I wanted the coat. That totally awesome coat. Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. A coat will come and go. Wisdom, discipline, spiritual strength are lasting, are "better."

However, I was reminded of something else, too, and it's important. I think God would've loved for me to have that coat. I didn't want it for pride, I didn't think it would make me better than anyone, I just really loved it and loved the way I looked in it. God wants me to be happy. He wants to give me, and everyone, all that He has. However, God is all-wise, and he knows that the "time and season" of my wanting this coat was all off. We need to save our money for more important reasons. This choice wouldn't solely affect me, it would affect my family, too. And that's more important than a coat.

So, as you can see, I'm returning the coat. And I'm okay with that. A little stronger, a little wiser.
*** I was thinking that after Job sacrificed everything but his life and proved faithful, the Lord "blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginnings" (Job 42:12). So, I'm just thinking that maybe, just maybe, the Lord will miraculously make the coat turn up at a thrift store for $20. It could happen. But if was a fun thought.


Poulsen Family said...

Way to go! Lessons and wisdom can be found in anything.

Kerri said...

I'm so glad you'd share your experience and the wisdom you've gained.

katieo said...

ok good. I've been dying over here...wondering if you've kept the coat or not...and wondering if you were going to share the verdict, :)

and this:
"So, I'm just thinking that maybe, just maybe, the Lord will miraculously make the coat turn up at a thrift store for $20. It could happen"
Hey. It's happened to me. FOH-REALS. If God can part the Red Sea, surely he can make that coat (or a better one) come into your life anytime, anyplace, any WAY.

For now, sounds like you did the right thing! :)

Marilou said...

Good job Lanette, good job :)

Honey said...

Good on ya, sister!

Harley said...

Way to go Lanette! I want to hug you! It is so true that God does care about our wants & wishes. I love that you learned that it wasn't about whether you should have the coat or not, it was the time & season & being wise. I love how God speaks to us. Thanks for sharing the outcome. :)

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