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NEED

Yesterday I was walking toward the pick-up spot to where we were meeting for our ball hockey game. The hockey-game where I almost got my eye poked out and just have a few bloody cuts there instead. I live in a trashy apartment building with four other friends who make this specific home amazing. As you begin to walk to my old school, Tyndale, you will walk by the nun house, where the pope stayed during World Youth Day, a all-girl Catholic school (with no shortage of short skirts) and the houses get bigger and the cars get nicer as you progressively get closer to Tyndale. Tyndale is right in the middle of multi-million dollar houses. Always a great site to lay eyes upon when your paying ten thousand a year just for tuition and going into a low paying if any pay at all job. Unless of course you choose TV Evangelism, but I don’t think Tyndale prepares you too well for that. Maybe there is a school in the States for that.

On my walk I looked to my left and noticed this newer car, probably in the last two or three years, sitting out on a driveway with all four doors open. It would easily put a dent in your bank account of over thirty grand, if not that into your mortgage. Half a body was hanging out of the car while the other half was focused solely on the scrubbing motions inside the vehicle. She was washing her car.

As I got closer to Tyndale, I looked to my right and a family was out in their front yard showing off their new driveway. It was a cool driveway. It had all these patterns in it, and was pleasing to the eye. I remember 6 months ago when he started his driveway project. Now it’s finished and it looks great.

I started of course dreaming about the day when I would have my own car to wash, and my own driveway to finish. My dreams were halted though; I couldn’t get comfortably into them. I don’t even want these things anymore. A nice car? Will this bring me anything more than an old rugged car rather that a few more chicks looking my way as I get from A to B? A new driveway? What’s wrong with gravel? Were the rocks getting stuck in the wheels of my new car?

I’ve been told by adult after adult that when I get older I’ll start to understand these things. When I get older responsibility will hit, I’ll get a family and I have to provide for them and I will want all these things. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a new car, or a nice driveway, I just don’t want them. I don’t want a new car; I’d rather drive a crappy one and put my money to better use. I don’t want a paved driveway, I’d rather save the few thousand dollars (probably well over ten for this guy) and put it toward something else.

Why do things become all we strive after in life? Since when do they really hold any value beyond cash which is only really a figment of our imagination anyway? How do we escape this consumerism attitude where we just want more and want better constantly never being satisfied or content with the items we have?

I’m beginning to see less and less need for my wardrobe. Why do I need 20 t-shirts, 7 hoodies, 6 pairs of pants, 7 pairs of shorts and a closet full of button ups? I thank God that I am blessed overwhelmingly with all these things, but I really can’t get over the fact that there are those with not even one piece of clothing. Let alone 40 articles of fairly new clothing (not including button ups, underwear or socks or coats), a new car, a new paved driveway, a library of books, a phat house, a new boat, a hot tub, pool, spiced up laptop, ninety pairs of shoes, new furniture, a new paint job in our room, my Martha Stewart pillows, palm pilots, digital cameras and the list goes on. What really do I need? Do I need everything that I have? Nope. Not even a little bit. I need to let God and I’m trying to let him shape me into living simple, a life without being tied down to my comfort with things where my comfort comes from him.

4 Comments

  • Rarely do we need everything we have. Thats for sure. New Cars? your right. Stick with the crappy older models. Put the 20-30K you would have spent in GIC’s. Better investment. I think for the most part it is about being a good steward of whatever it is God has given you. It does not matter if it is 10 dollers or 10 million. We have to be good stewards. Not being too stingy to use it to bless others.
    Nathan, you wouldn’t be you without the hoodies so I,m sure God wants you to keep them.
    I do like the new cement driveway on my new used house though.
    Call me when you are home next. You have to come see the new house. New used that is.

  • This is why I like you. Thanks for making it easy with posts like that one.

  • It’s hard simplfying life. I’ve noticed that I have adopted some of the same views as you. I find myself constantly struggling with consumerism. I am a different person from a year ago, though I’m not at a point where I only eat certified organic food, and bike everywhere and encourage the use of cloth diapers. I know a lot of people who do ascribe to such a way of life, and I commend them! It’s hard to make the switch to such a lifestyule. One day at at time though. I am becoming more aware of need versus necessity.

    Peace to you Nate

  • Its funny that everything we have in North America is built on consumerism. I find that we, who have so much because of consumerism, are always in talks about giving to the poor and to countries not built on consumerism. A lot of people want to go further than giving; they want to establish these countries. Establish them into what, Consumerism? Is consumerism the way to save nations?

    We cant honestly think that we help the poor by throwing money at them. Its like giving a band-aid to someone with a stab wound. They clearly need surgery.

    We are able to give because we are a rich nation built on consumerism. Yet we hate consumerism. I just think we need to get it out of our heads that consumerism is all bad.

    On one hand you can look at consumerism as a theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial. Which is true. But then you can look at the individual and there attachment to materialistic values or possessions. I think thats the danger. Its the individual and there attachment to shit (drive ways.) I dont think there is anything wrong with making money, a lot of money. But if you can honestly tell me that a drive way is more important than a starving mouth, then we are in a lot of trouble.

    Rob, I love your comments. I think you hit it right on the head. We need to become good stewards. More than that, we need to become amazing stewards. Stewards to your family, stewards to your neighbor, steward to the poor and unknown.

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