Did you know that my favorite store until about 4 years ago was Best Buy. I could have spent hours upon hours in there. Keely actually recalls several times when she would sit in the recliners and watch the TVs while I searched the store. This affinity for electronics came with my dad. He and I loved to read about the newest gadgets, TV’s, etc. He would get a new receiver or video player and we would hook it up together and then blare something like the beginning of the Lion King and all its “glory.”
I can recall recently when we entered a Sam’s Club and there was a lady holding a demonstration for the newest TV. It had everything from speakers that could blow your ears away, hi def picture and even 3D capability. The picture was excellent. The 3D wasn’t mind blowing but I have to admit it was neat to see. On the other hand, the one thing going through my mind at the time was, “Meh. I already have a TV.”
Christmas and birthdays were always a time of anticipation while growing up. Although, I was always taught to be happy with whatever gifts I was given, this was sometimes difficult for me. The gifts I loved most were ones that I could touch, play with, and would be there the next day. Action figures like He-Man and Castle Grayskull were at the top of my list. These were the items that would entertain me for hours playing in my room and in the living room. Later on, as many wise people have said, my toys began being more expensive. Electronics and video games became the standard of my happiness. Little by little I began to realize that their lasting effect would be waning.
I think much of the reason my attitudes have shifted are from a couple of isolated incidents. I don’t remember the exact times but I do recall their vivid memory.
- The first was during a particular night while working at Hollywood Video in Colorado Springs. I remember wanting to rent and take home several movies. This desire led me to the question, “How long would it take for me to watch all the movies in the store?” The question seemed reasonable, but completely overwhelming. Mostly not because of the answer but because of the maintenance of first watching all the current movies and then keeping up with all the new ones that were being released as well.
- The second experience was when I observed a friend of mine during social gatherings in high school. This friend would make it a point to always ask why everyone was laughing after a joke or story was told. When he would ask, I would find myself frustrated. I realized then, more for my own sake, that I couldn’t expect to know everything that was going on. It was then that my heart started to gravitate towards God and ask Him that if He wanted me to be in a certain situation or acquire certain knowledge at a particular point then to please place me in those situations.
Through these two experiences I was given a glimpse of the finiteness of man. We will not live on this earth forever. We will be changed. We will leave behind the things of this world and be transformed and in the physical presence of the living God. Therefore, our time is limited and my regular question is, what am I filling it up with; toys or people.
I still enjoy toys. I still find satisfaction in typing on my MacBook Air, watching movies on my 32″ TV, and playing the occasional game of Temple Run on my (or more likely, Julie’s) iPad Mini. However, I find much more satisfaction in being with people and experiencing new things with them. Vacations with my family are extremely important because no moth can destroy those memories. Having a cup of coffee with a good friend while learning to play guitar will ever rust.
What are the experiences that you value most?