Yesterday I went in the nicest house I have ever been in in my life.
It was one of those houses, perfectly constructed of materials that I love and spotlessly maintained, done in tile and iron, that makes you take your breath away.
And, of course, it had the expected result: I was grumpy all the way home.
This was the house I was supposed to have. This was supposed to be the outcome of The Firm: A house just like that, with a pool like that (oh, the pool. It was beautiful). That was supposed to be my life.
Naturally, every comparison with where you were and where you are immediately leaps to mind: the yard which sometimes has grass or sometimes weeds, the house items spread all throughout it like a hurricane passed through, the mismatched collection of items which one has collected through the years rather than a unified whole.
But the next thing that popped into my head was, of course, the Bible verse I had been working on the week before, Hebrews 13:5
"Keep your life free from covetousness. Be content with what you have. For He Himself has said 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"
Funny that. It's as if God knew on the previous Monday where I would be the following Sunday and acted accordingly ("Memorize this verse").
So all the way home I tried to shed coveteousness. I tried to be happy for those that have such things. I tried to be grateful (not well, mind you) for all those things that I did have.
And then, at home, I saw the pictures from Joplin, Missouri.
Suddenly my processes changed 180 degrees. Now it was not a question of coveteousness, it was a question of being grateful that I was alive, let alone that my house was not reducted to a pile of lumber.
It's amazing how 30 seconds can change one's perspective.