Tension melts away and I feel my stress level plummet as I stroll through the automatic doors of World Market. This is often my hiding place when troubles chase me through the labyrinth of mortality. I bask in the sights, smells, and overall luxury of this beautiful store, surrounded by handcrafted imports and feeling much like I am enjoying a cruise around the world in miniature. My eyes skim over beautiful pillows, jewelry, and other merchandise which have traveled long distances to plead for my attention. I feel like a queen in this setting.
Meandering to my favorite section of the store I inhale incense and turn nonchalantly southward. My heart skips a beat as I discover a beautifully finished pouf from India which would go so adoringly well with the new decor of my bedroom and which seems to be calling my name. The magical pouf draws me toward it and I glance at the price. My vision of a perfect find deflates slightly. It isn't a terrible price - certainly worth the item. It is just that I have a tendency to be very tight about money - even when money isn't tight. Surely I can use said cash to feed the homeless here in America, save for my children's college, or give it away to someone who needs it. But spend such a quantity on myself when I am not starving or on the brink of death? Sigh...the more responsible side of me kicks in and I straighten to my full height. This is hardly needed, I tell myself. I resolutely stroll through the aisles of relaxation and finally stalk straight out the door.
But the pouf haunts me at night. I pray to have peace and forget about the beautiful little decoration that deep down I want so badly. I want to be a good, upstanding, down to earth human being who does not run off and buy everything she likes simply because she can. The Lord does not seem to agree. He impresses upon my mind that I need to learn to relax and enjoy beautiful things without constantly thinking about what is most appropriate. He impresses me that sometimes enjoying beautiful things in one's life is also appropriate, even when aforementioned beautiful thing comes with a price tag above ten dollars. I argue the point in prayer, hoping to get the Lord to change His opinion. Perhaps He merely wants to test my resolve to stay strong in the face of exquisite temptation. But He doesn't budge.
World Market calls me back a few days later. Still I resist. I will do something more constructive and beneficial to the world at large! Again, a few days later necessity brings me back to World Market for I need to find a Father's Day gift. Buying gifts is allowable; they are not selfishly purchased for me. Finally Heavenly Father sits me down and tells me that I will not be allowed to leave the store without that beautifully crafted pouf that goes so well with the new bedroom I'd love to have. I glance at the pouf. It is calling to me. I see that it was crafted just for me. It was meant to be mine and I love it through and through. Still I give one last push for well mannered resistance. Heavenly Father reasons that He cannot give me the pleasures, beauties and blessings of heaven someday if I can't even handle buying a pouf.
Oh. Point taken.
My children love the pouf and argue about who gets to carry it to the car. All this frustration and resistance when it makes all three of us so thoroughly delighted? I grin sheepishly heavenward and thank my Father for kicking my backside into caring a bit more about myself and ensuring His daughter gets spoiled a little. And though I don't dare allow my mind to consciously think it, my heart drifts back to that one Indian bedside table that would go so well with the pouf....