Culture, Faith

CURING CONSUMPTION

As Christina and I continue to settle into our new home we have spent much of the last 2 weeks agonising over colours, furniture, flooring and artex.

We pore over Homebase brochures like ancient map readers, desperately seeking the final secret that unlocks the treasure within.

We google endlessly looking for “interesting coat hooks” or “cool downstairs toilet” hoping that fresh inspiration is only a pinterest away.

We talk about it all the time, when we’re not talking – we’re planning, when we’re not planning – we’re buying, and when we’re not buying – we’re doing…and so the cycle continues.

And yet whilst we merrily go round in a blaze of emulsion-covered glory it seems that not everyone is so concerned;

A new Pope has been elected.

The government have found a deal on press regulation.

Over £75million was raised for comic relief.

Some good friends have had a baby.

In fact, if I’m honest, even we have struggled to maintain constant focus. We’ve got caught up in work issues, spent time with friends, seen family and even enjoyed some TV in there as well.

Like most people, our lives are varied and our horizons are constantly shifting…and yet on the face of things, the house is all I can seem to think about.

It’s easily done – something new comes along and takes our attention and with it our focus.

We become sidetracked, not enough to behave like zombies or to completely shut off the outside world or things we previously invested in – but it’s not far off.

We rationalise that what we’re doing is “for a season” or “it’s just like this until…” but the mystical “until” shifts and shifts until we can’t remember what we were aiming for in the first place. Sometimes we can even rationalise that it’s okay because this new thing is “worthwhile” or “making a difference”. If you adhere to a faith, it can get really muddy. Something can become “of God” or “ordained” so it must be really important…right?

My character includes an ugly tinge of narcissism that, without self-control and good people who keep me in check, can fool me into thinking whatever I’m doing, working at, focused on or thinking around is the most important thing in the world right now…but it isn’t.

At the heart of me, my family, and my community are values that don’t shift like my schedule or change like my colour schemes.

And so if I’m to be consumed by anything, let it be the things that really guide me, the people who really shape me, and the values that keep me true to myself…anything else is just the all consuming I…and it’s way off-trend on pinterest.

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