All the Pretty Things

Today I stop by an expensive local store to find a special present, and I sample the lotions, smell the candles, and spritz the perfumes that I could never in a million years afford to buy. I walk by the collection of holiday silver and china and admire the artistry of so many lovely objects one could put in a home.

Years ago, this kind of activity sent me into a state of jealousy and sadness over all we couldn’t afford. I imagined an entirely different life where I waltzed around my house in fine clothing with all my holiday china and candles that cost as much as rent.

But today, I just enjoyed the beauty of all these objects without needing them, without believing they somehow changed me or made life better or more meaningful, and without thinking I was missing out on some other kind of life. I whispered the golden verse from Ephesians 2:6–that I was seated with Christ in the heavenly realms–and I recognized that everything I wanted was already happening to me. The objects in the store tried to latch onto my heart but couldn’t; it was too full of Jesus that no landing existed for them.

I found my gift and walked out the door.

I remembered Tolstoy’s quote that “wealth is the number of things one can do without,” and I felt peace in my soul. Everything I wanted, I already had.

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