Turning off the “Wanter”

A minister I once knew talked about the ads at Christmas and how they never failed to turn on his “wanter.”  I laughed.  How well I remember watching the mailbox for the Sears Christmas catalog so that I could snatch it up before my brothers and sisters got hold of it.  Skimming through those pages switched on my “wanter” and sent it soaring into high gear.  I would grab up my mother’s red pen and circle every toy I wanted—which was many.

Guess what?  “Wanters” also get turned on in May.  Yesterday a friend showed me her top-of-the line iPad, and I was hooked.  I wanted one!  Never mind that I got a new iPhone last Christmas and still can only do the basics.  Never mind that it more than meets my needs.  Never mind! I want an iPad!

Believe it or not, I truly am satisfied, happy, and blessed.  So how come I feel I just have to own all the cool toys that yesterday I didn’t even know existed?

When I was in India visiting a school for abandoned girls, I snapped this picture.  She could eat for the greater part of a year for the price of a new iPad. 

Thank you, young one, for doing what I can’t seem to manage.  Thank you for turning off my “wanter.”

“Own only what you can carry with you:  know languages, know countries, know people.  That is all you need.”

 Alexander Solzhenitsyn



Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to “Turning off the “Wanter”

  1. Ahhh…that feeling of want, want, want. The wanter in me. God always gives me what I need, need, need. And so I look more for the needer in me.

    Like this morning: I wanted to get up at 5 a.m.–I have so much to do to prepare for a writers conference this weekend where I’ll be teaching. I didn’t set an alarm. My body has been waking me up at 5 for months now (I go to bed at 9 to allow this to happen). But this morning, I woke up at 5:44.

    God knows what I need, and often, it’s not what I want.

  2. Well put, BJ. I know you will do a great job at the conference. Wish I were closer to Orange County, and I’d could come by and cheer for you!

  3. Each fall when I was in high school, that time of life when being cool is so important, I was “taken over” by desire for a beautiful wardrobe. I looked through magazines lusting for clothing in “cranberry” or “warm vanilla” or whatever looked lovely on those size 5 models. Luckily I was a 5 or a 7 in those days. Not so lucky, we didn’t have any money. My mom always forced me to buy three or four outfits a la Walmart while I wanted just one (or ten) really nice Nordstrom ensembles. The good news is I survived without the exotic wardrobe, though I still remember the strength of the longing to have and own. Underlying that longing was the belief that if I owned, I’d somehow be more acceptable. So glad I’ve learned to ignore the “wanter” in me. I should have traveled to India at a younger age, the process would have been shorter.

  4. Oh, Jan, how true that is. Nothing changes the “wanter” in us to thanksgiving like seeing how truly blessed we are!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s