I’ve always had this thing for a new pair of jeans. I know for a lot of women it might be shoes, purses or even a new hair style, but not me. The funny thing is, I don’t even really enjoy shopping all that much. But I love new jeans.
So much so, that it became a bad habit for me about 7 years ago. An unhealthy habit that I’ve had to work so hard to break.
It’s not that I never shop for jeans. I do. But only when the need is there and I am not one to skimp on quality. I’m of the firm belief that a well made pair of jeans wins out every time. However, if I don’t have a genuine need for them I go to ridiculously great lengths to keep that habit at bay.
Let me just enlighten you…
A few weeks ago I needed to run to the mall to grab a few things. My list was short – four things from two stores. Easy enough. My dilemma came into play when the stores I needed to shop in were miles apart (aka, at opposite ends of the mall).
Here’s how it went down:
1) I entered the mall via one of my least favorite anchor stores to ensure that my browsing experience would be minimal.
2) Once I made it into the mall, I jetted straight to my destination store and purchased only what I needed.
3) I then exited the store and left the mall in the same manner that I’d come in.
4) I walked the entire length of the mall outside in order to get to the opposite end to finish my shopping.
Yeah. I did this to keep from passing in front of any other tempting stores that would have wooed me with their window display and put serious strain on my wallet.
(ya’ll, I’m easily wooed)
…and now I share all of that with a little bit of an embarrassed, cherry red face. I mean, that’s just plain silly. Especially when this all has to take place in a rain shower!
Yet I have to pause and reflect on this epic display of Jennifer-you-have-no-will-power-and-I-pity-you-for-this-time-consuming-workaround – and rest in the fact that I can be grateful for the things that don’t require me to go to great lengths. I might need to take extra measures (for now) to make sure my love for denim keeps me out of trouble, but what about everything else?
How familiar do these little falsehoods sound to you?
“I can’t take the time to sit down and pray properly until I finish my list of responsibilities.”
“The five minutes that I have aren’t enough to get into His Word so I’ll just wait until later.”
“I have absolutely no time for a six week Bible study so I couldn’t possibly participate.”
But if God were writing this post I think He would sound a little something like this:
“Stop right where you are and pray what’s on your heart. No formalities required.”
“If five minutes is all you’ve got right now then it’s five minutes that can give you the peace you need and the filling that can be poured out to others later.”
“Who said a six week Bible study had to be done in only six weeks?”
There are weeks where I need to make a lot more time for God than this… More than just a five minute scripture reading, a quick prayer and there are times I want a formal Bible study with other women that fits into a set time frame. But realistically, that can’t always happen.
And that’s ok.
I have only to meet God right where I am. No great lengths required.
I don’t have to go to great lengths to be loved.
I don’t have to go to great lengths to feel peace.
I don’t have to go to great lengths to feel encouraged by His Words.
Jesus went to great lengths for us so that we don’t have to go to great lengths for His father.
And I am grateful that it’s just that easy…
Today I’m linking up with the following authors to share my story: