“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or story away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
I rendered my old external-frame backpack obsolete today. After months of talking about it, and days of considering, Dad and I went to REI to look at backpacking packs. I tried on three different packs: a Kelty, a Gregory Deva, and a Gregory Forester. After much deliberation, aid from a nice salesguy, and wandering around with 30 pounds of sandbags in each of the three bags, I settled on the Gregory Deva, a pack specially designed for women. The price, though unmentionable, I felt justified in paying since I buy so few items. On its maiden voyage – a walk down to Lake Washington at St. Edwards – I found it comfortable and distinctly less awkward to wear than my previous pack, although I still think it was hyperbole to say “Like good shoes, a well-fitted backpack will disappear from your mind.” The thirty pounds I carried never really slipped from my mind, however well the backpack fit.
The real accomplishment, however, is that I spent the money at all. I did not buy the cheaper pack that fit not quite as well; I bought what I could afford and what would bring me great enjoyment over the years. What about giving money to God? Is that wasting money that I ought to give to missions, to the poor, or to the church? And the time I spend using it, should I not give that time to helping the poor, or volunteering at church? Even if none of that is necessary, have I not just wasted money on an object I cannot fully justify – that I do not really need? When is spending money on self OK, and when is it being frivolous? I hear from Mom all the time, “We could be giving this money away,” or “We don’t really need to remodel the house; think how much good $30,000 could do.” So: the same applies to my backpack, doesn’t it? When is money well-spent when it’s spent on yourself?
– KF –