With all this thinking about what I want in the house and around the homestead and planning the how’s the last few weeks, I realized I have fallen back into “when… then…” thinking.
You know “When this happens, then I can…” For some its “When I get a raise, then I can get a new car, or pay off debt, or tithe, or…” If that one thing happens, it’s like magic; it will solve whatever problem we think we have. It can really be dangerous thinking. We stop living in the now.
Sometimes it’s obvious – sometimes we truly do just need that one thing to make things better.
But sometimes I think the Lord uses those thoughts to shape and mold and grow us.
“When Mr. gets a job, we will be able to purchase what we need for the house.” The unspoken assumption being we would just purchase it at a big box store – it’s there, available and we can pick exactly what we want when we want it. But it takes the overall budget out of consideration and breaks it down into immediate needs with the immediate funds available. There would be less reason to continue scouring Craigslist or the classifieds looking for items on The List of Future Needs. Some things there isn’t much choice – we are highly unlikely to find someone giving away (or selling wicked cheap) enough same color metal roofing to do the entire house. Nor can we get spray foam insulation second hand. But there is still plenty that we will need (like another tub), that we can still try to find in other ways besides full price at the box store.
Another one I have thought a lot of “when we have an oven and an electric skillet, meals will be easier”. While bringing those items has made that mostly true, it has also stirred other “when… then…” We haven’t had to do menu planning in over a year – we shop daily, add in no refrigeration and cooking over an open fire and our meals have been very simple – no mixing, battering and the like. Plus complicated meals means way more daily dishes to wash – camp style – boiling water on the Rocket Stove, multiple tubs on the deck, you know the deal. “When we have the batch solar hot water heater, washing dishes will be easier, then I can start cooking more normal meals”. Thinking I could have built it weeks ago, you know, “if I just had that one thing (the glass to go on the front), then…”.
While it may be true that X will make Y easier, it also ignores the now. It’s really hard to “be content in ALL things” when we are always looking forward and waiting on, the next thing.
Sometimes we just have to stop thinking forward and just do it now. Sobering pill to swallow.