We went to the fair when it came to town and we stayed too long. (Wasn’t there a song about that a long time ago?)
Our dogs were not allowed to go. That was even-handed. No one’s pets were allowed to go. I understand. With all the strollers and pull wagons full of kids and backpacks and coolers, a tangle of leashes (not to mention bathroom issues) would turn the Midway into a nightmare journey and it wasn’t even Halloween.
I remembered them though. I played a game and won two cheap, squishy stuffed animals that they would love to wrap up in their huge, squishy mouths. Stuffed animals and live cats. They consider both to be in the same category. Soft, furry, and lovable in that squeezable way. They just don’t get why the cat doesn’t find the game fun.
Being left behind that day taxed Stella’s self-control because Snoopey had gotten to go in the car earlier in the day and a car ride is a car ride. When the leash came out and it was not for her, Stella gave me what-for in bulldog speak. The squeaks and groans went on unabated for three to four minutes, quite a run for a dog who is not used to stringing together more than a grunt and a lip ruffle. Lectured by a dog. Maybe I should respond with grunts and whines and lip ruffles of my own. What Stella didn’t know was Snoopey was not going for a joy ride. It was medical in nature and not something that either of them would have asked for.
So how many times have I coveted my neighbor’s car ride, to the fair, or on a trip, or anywhere, and had absolutely no idea where they were going, how long it would be, how hard it was, or how necessary for them? How many times have I looked at what someone else received and craved it without having any inkling of what it cost them, without going to the Lord about it to see if it was even desirable or appropriate for me?
Telling us not to covet whatever it is that our neighbor has is not God’s way of keeping us from the good stuff. It is His protection and His way of drawing us to ask Him for what we desire. He understands that what our neighbor has may not be right for us and may not even be what we think we want at all.
“Thou shalt not covet…any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17 KJV
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