I’ve always had a good imagination. Not that cool, creative dragons and unicorns kind of imagination, that could help me to be some kind of literary genius, but the sort of tragic kind. The kind that found me sitting on the floor of my room as a kid and suddenly realizing I was crying my eyes out because I’d imagined my parents had just died in a car accident and I was all alone.
As I’ve become older I’ve realized that my imagination combined with my slight control-freakish nature finds me lapsing regularly into fantasy. Imagining future scenarios and how I would act and what I would say and what-would-I-do-if-this-happened-and-they-said-this etc. etc.
God spoke to me about this recently. I’d worked myself into a bit of a state over something that was almost entirely in my head and all of a sudden God showed me what I was doing:
You’re building a castle in the sand, Sarah, and you’re planning on living in it.
That’s exactly (metaphorically) what I was doing. The scenarios in my head had little grounding in reality. I was constructing a falsified world, one that would be swept away with the next tide… and I’d been planning on living in it.
Following the apostle Paul’s instructions to think only on ‘whatever is true’ is something I find insanely hard, but I know it’s something I need to work on.
I’m five weeks off the end of my no retail challenge. I think I’ve learned a fair bit. I’ve given up a lot, but I also know I’ve exploited a couple of loopholes.
This weekend I bought a tree – a mandarin tree. And yes, I justified it as groceries. I mean, that’s what it will ultimately turn into, right? What’s $40 now when in two years I’ll have all the free mandarins I want?
I do think it’s justifiable, but I could have tried harder. I could have found out how to cultivate a tree from cuttings (is that even possible?) or grow it from seeds. I guess that’s the difference between me doing this challenge as a challenge and doing it as a necessity.
I can look for loopholes and excuse myself for buying things under the banner of groceries. I really have no idea what it’s like to live pay check to pay check and not be able to afford a new dress. I’ve gone without by choice. I can’t presume to know what it’s like to go without by necessity.
I hope I’ve learned more discipline. I hope I’ve learned to live simply and not gratify my lust for shopping. But at the end of the day, I have to acknowledge, that really, I’m still a rich girl who can afford to look for loopholes.