Is there a limit?
Is there a limit to how much our standard of living can escalate?
In general, I don’t think we notice. I don’t think we notice that little by little our standard rises. If it happened all at once, it might be a jolt. No–it is slow–acceptable–reasonable–gradual.
I grew up in Dallas. Things were big in Dallas. "Big D!" After all, one of the first indoor malls to exist in Dallas was named, "Big Town." And so our city grew and grew. More and more buildings went up. Tall–big buildings! In college, I worked downtown in the First National Bank Building on the 27th floor. And there were many, many floors above the 27th.
Today, some people seem to always be looking for the biggest, newest, and the best. The house that used to be our dream home doesn’t satisfy any more. The car that was the envy of the guys as work is now for sale. The vacation we took? We may have found that our vacations have become more elaborate–and expensive.
We upgrade. We upgrade our cars, houses, and other "big ticket items." It is not just that we replace the broken or obsolete. No, our standard of living continues to rise. Our conversations may sound like this:
"I am so tired of this little house. Why can’t we get the kind of house the Smiths are building?"
"We may be getting a new car. I really like that new…."
"Yea, it’s a little more car than we need but you only live once!"
"Why can’t we go on a vacation like they did?"
"Sure we can handle the mortgage payment! Some people have a higher payment than this."
"Look– all of our friends are getting a _______. Why don’t we get one! Let’s splurge!"
There is no end.
There is no end to this.
This kind of life has become an endless game where we remain preoccupied with our affluence, while we ignore a treasure that money can not buy. Think of our treasure: Our families. Our husbands. Our wives. Our children. Our parents. Our friends. Then there is the greatest treasure of all; Jesus himself.
Maybe we need to give some thought to what all of this upgrading is costing us. Again, some upgrading is necessary. Your car will eventually wear out. Your computer must have upgrades. That is not the problem. The problem is the constant upgrading that is rooted in a heart of discontent. This upgrading is costing us not only money but our time, energy, and our contentment.
Meanwhile, our real treasure may be getting very little attention.