Think about the best experience of your life. Maybe it was a promotion you had. Maybe it was a trip you went on with your spouse or family. Maybe it was the quiet you had in the middle of the woods. Maybe it was even an insanely good deal you found.
There is something to be said about experiences. Experiences are proven in the research world, to provide that sense of happiness we all desire as humans. The thing is, in a world where consumerism is a hot commodity, spending money on experiences, rather than possessions, seems like a big mistake. And that is where I beg to differ.
Some of the best experiences of my life, have been while traveling. I started to wonder why that was, but I believe it’s because experiences shape who we are. It’s in experiences, where we see a bigger world, a greater purpose, and can see God in a whole new view, through His general revelation.
I’ve had the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S., on mission trips to the Dominican Republic twice and also to Belize. It was during those trips, that I saw the world in a whole new way – making those opportunities some of the most life-changing experiences. Not to mention, our mission trip to Alaska was just as influential – seeing the grandeur of God reflecting off the mountains. Wowzas.
My husband and I have also put a high priority on traveling together, whether it be to the Florida Keys, visiting friends, flying out of the country, or just taking a day trip around our state. Taking that time away, to me, is worth more than any possession I could ever own.
I am not saying you have to fly across the vast ocean to have a “good” experience. In fact, I think some of the most beautiful moments can be found right in our backyards, if we are just willing to take the time and look for them.
What I am saying is that what if we viewed life, not as a consumption of possessions, but as a way to experience the world and moments God has created right here for us, if we just step outside of our doors? The novelty of possessions fade. I can’t think of many things that I just am still completely head over heels over. When it comes to possessions, it never is enough. The happiness surrounding them eventually wears off, and we are on to the next thing, looking for the next instant gratification piece. (Though I have to secretly admit that our Honda Odyssey does make traveling to experience, has made it well worth it! And no, this is not a paid advertisement for Honda).
When our time comes and God calls us home, we cannot take ANY possession with us. Not even our bodies, folks! So why spend a lifetime obtaining what will be left anyways? I suppose too, our experiences will seem like a trip to the grocery store when it stands in comparison to our experiences in heaven. But you get the idea.
When our daughter was born, we knew we could not buy her every latest and greatest gizmo or apparatus. And we were fine with that. But what we hope to do in life, is not always buy the latest and greatest, but to open her eyes to the beautiful world God has given us. Will we buy a one-way ticket one day to travel around the world? I doubt it. Will we try to create experiences that help shape her worldview? We hope to.
Think about what you spend your money on. Look around your home. Have all of your possessions been worth the money? What if you traded some of them in, for experiences instead? As an individual? As a couple? As a family?