I'll just put it all out there. That's the bike I want. That's a triathlon bike. It's the 2012 Women's Cannondale Slice 105. It's not the fanciest one you can buy, but it's also not the cheapest one you can buy. To put it in perspective, it costs 2 mortgage payments. The pros often ride on bikes 4-5x that, though. The 2012 came out recently, so I went to the website to check it out. Unlike cars, bikes don't come in your choice of color. They come in one or two colors, then the colors change with the next model. I'm a bit picky about color. I don't want a bike like everyone else's (black, red, or white). I really think a bike should fit your personality. Waiting year after year for the right color seems silly, but I've waited. Not just for the color, but for it to be the right time. In fact, I haven't even test ridden this particular bike (I've REALLY restrained myself), but I'm pretty sure it's going to be the perfect fit. So, imagine my elation when I saw that the 2012 bike was the color scheme I REALLY wanted! Sa-weet!!!! OK God, you're telling me to buy a tri bike now, right?
I really wish it was that simple.
You see, we can afford this bike. Even though we are planning a trip to DisneyWorld in February AND we just paid for a trip to Boston so my husband can run the Boston Marathon in April. Even though we did a major renovation in 2010 and have to make payments toward that for the next 10 years. Even though we are paying for soccer and races and triathlon coach certification and endless clothes the kids have outgrown.... the list goes on and on. It's not about whether we have the money because I know we can find the money somewhere. It's about contentment.
We live in a world of wants. I'm just as guilty, if not more so, than the next guy. I want a tri bike. I want a TV for our gameroom. I want new bedroom furniture. I want someone to clean my house weekly. I want new cabinets and granite countertops in my kitchen. I want a new coffee table. I want my Master bedroom painted and decorated. I want the pile of bamboo flooring in my garage to be installed perfectly overnight by the bamboo installing elves. OK, so that's probably never going to happen! We all have our list. Our "wish list." We also have the "to do" list. How do we find contentment? I ask myself all the time. Am I content with what I have? Why or why not? I seem to always want something, whether it be a material item or just wanting something done. Why? Because I see the world around me, and I'm comparing.
Everyone says we will never be content. That's the world talking, though. What is enough? If we have a relationship with Jesus, that should really be enough, right? That sounds so simple. Then enters Satan. I ask myself if I got everything done I wanted to get done and was able to buy all the things I want to buy, would I be content? Then, I ask myself if I had more than anyone I knew, would I be content? The answer most days would probably be no. Yes, really. Don't get me wrong, I am content in many areas of my life. I am so blessed. I really cannot complain about my life. I live in a nice big house in the suburbs of Austin (best city anywhere) with a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children and I get to stay home and not work and still have all of this. I am healthy and exercise, and apparently, I'm among the 4% of women who would say they are beautiful. I have wonderful friends and enjoy life to the fullest. I'm happy. Isn't that the American Dream? It may be, but God has a different dream for us, and it doesn't include houses, or cars, or clothing, or appearances, or even tri bikes. (Can you believe that?) It doesn't mean we can't buy things for ourselves, but we should make sure we are content with only Jesus first. We must listen and sometimes wait on the Lord. Instead, I tend to focus on the things I don't have only because I know other people who do have those things. I want them now. That is the enemy trying to steal my happiness!! He knows how to get to us. He tempts us and tells us we can have these things which leads us to be envious of those who do have those things. So, how do we know our wants and desires are not a blessing from God? We have to step back and see if obtaining that thing will bless ourself or others or if it will instead instill pride in ourselves and make us want to boast. If it blesses, then that's God telling us to do it. If not, then we might think twice.
God has been working on me in this area. I've finally begun to let go of the worldly wants and just be content in Him. It doesn't mean I don't still want a tri bike (after all, don't I NEED it if I'm going to be a triathlon coach?), but it means when I do finally get one, it will be a blessing from God, not just something I got because I can and because the pressures of the world said I need it because EVERYONE has one. I've been listening and waiting for the right time. I'm wondering if taking the step to become a coach might have been the key. MAYBE that color thing is a sign. If not, I'll just have to be content with my awesome blue road bike. I have been for 5 years. We'll just have to see how God plays this one out. I might just have to go for a test ride and see what happens. :)