My daughter has asked for a bedroom makeover for her birthday. As an artist, she told me that she’d rather her room be more of an art studio with a bed in it than a bedroom with an art table in it. Okay. I get it. I just wish she had come up with this idea when we originally designed her room a year and a half ago.
So this is going to be a low budget endeavor, and it’s going to require a lot of elbow grease on her part. In the works is a “new” wardrobe that must be refinished, a cool metal chandelier- also in need of refinishing, and walls that must be painted…. in chalk paint. She also wants to trade in her bed, and put her mattress and box springs on top of- wait for it- wooden pallets. Luckily, we found those for free by a dumpster at our church. They just need a bit of sanding.
We decided to start small… with the chandelier. It’s been in my mother’s attic for the last decade or so. It’s cute. Or it will be. But first we had to clean years of grime off it. A spray of hot water took off most of it, but then we had to get in deep with a rag. Once we scrubbed all the grime off, we noticed that over the years, the existing paint was chipping off in places. All that chipping paint had to come off. Some scraping was in order.
I’m not sure my daughter understood what it was going to take to turn this piece back into a treasure. She wanted to skip right to the painting part. I was eager to see the final transformation a new coat of paint would bring to the light also, but I knew if we skipped the important prep work, the final product wouldn’t be what we had hoped.
I think we all like instant gratification. I do. I guess that makes me sound… shallow? Maybe. But honestly, our country is in the sad shape it’s in because too many of us enjoy the temporary satisfaction that instant gratification brings. Who wants to wait for the promise of long-term contentment when we can bank on instant gratification?
Families are falling apart because something feels good in the moment, and a marriage vow is broken. It’s easier to feel giddy and good now than work to make a marriage last over the long haul, right? Finances end up in the toilet because we want what we want right now, and those credit card companies are all too willing to help us get it now. It’s easier to get what we want on credit than to work and earn the money to buy it later. We can’t keep up with the Joneses by waiting, can we?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
We finally finished all the cleaning and scraping on the small chandelier, and started the painting. Slowly, it began to look like the treasure my daughter hoped it would. The old was made new again. It’s like what Jesus does for us. Yes, we are changed through salvation in an instant. Yet the process of sanctification can take us a while. There’s no quick fix for our humanity. Becoming Christlike takes time. It’s hard work, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we become treasures, priceless and holy. The old is washed away and the unholy is chipped away.
The result is truly great. We are His treasure and He is willing to make that long-term investment in us. No instant gratification required. It’s time for us to make that commitment, too. Let’s stop letting our heads be turned by the things of this world. Those things turn to rust, and are moth eaten. Let’s turn our eyes to the only One who can change us in an instant, and who is willing to stick around for the long haul for us to become what we will be.