I am definitely a Lenovo fan. My ThinkPad (which I named “Wall-e”) has been through Hades for 5 years (4 years in duct tape). I’ve used him for all video and music production, book and article composing, Netflix nights, YouTube-theology-binge-watching, etc. He’s the best.
But a month ago, the unthinkable happened. ZWAP! Wall-e has been known to make awkward noises, but never such as this. In the blink of an eye, static electricity surged through the MB and did its dirty work. Wall-e is now a vegetable, and the Hard Drive will soon be moved to an external reader…
Much to my surprise, I woke up the next day alive.
When I become comfortable with the possessions I have, I am tempted to consider the circumstance meager. “I’m just getting by – my budget is modest, really.” Or worse, I secretly consider myself entitled to the things I have. When something is lost unexpectedly (ex. computer breaks, debit card stolen, A/C shuts down, tire goes flat, etc.), and the world keeps turning, I’m forced to recognize the luxurious quality of that thing I lost. I didn’t really need it – perhaps it was helpful and good, but the fact that I continued living after it was lost proves it was not a necessity.
A sub-thesis: “Perhaps we need to broaden our understanding of what luxury is.”
Now it is important that I reiterate the specific thing I’m speaking against. I don’t think I need to repent of owning laptops. What I do need to repent of, however, is idolizing and considering myself entitled to a laptop.
Truthfully, my whole budget could be included here. Would I be OK with losing all I have except food, water, and shelter (i.e. the necessities of life)? If not, I probably need to broaden my definition of “luxury” and lean my heart more upon Christ instead of the things I own. Would I feel wronged if my possessions were lost in some type of natural disaster? If so, I probably need to broaden my definition of “luxury” and contemplate how every beat of my heart is a grace from God.
Really, that’s what this all boils down to. I reflect too little on the graces of God, and thus I am ungrateful (I can hear Calvin scolding me from the first chapter of his Institutes. Agh.). I have entitled myself to one thing: destruction under the just wrath of God. Yet here I am, typing away on a Bluetooth keyboard, in an air conditioned room, beside my new bicycle, in front of my many shelves of hardbacks. I should be in the Almighty’s dungeon at this very moment, awaiting a righteous damnation. But would you look at that: I’m breathing and thinking, sipping water and digesting the Reuben I had earlier, my heart is pumping blood through my out-of-shape body.
Even more than this, my mind has been contemplating the glories of Christ. What on earth?! How do I have any right to do this?! When have I entitled myself the time and energy to devote precious moments to the understanding of Christ and His Gospel? “Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24) – even so, He has entrusted me with the most glorious things in the universe (2 Timothy 1:14).
Oh my! How foolish it is to think that I am entitled to anything! Everything I have, perhaps, is a luxury. This is what loss can do for us: open our hearts to the possibility that we are not owed the things we cling to or the time we waste.
So when your little Wall-e gets too friendly with a statically-charged couch, take the opportunity and cling to Christ. Don’t waste your loss.