How about that iPad?
Hey, good news! Apple has released the latest and coolest version of the iPad yet, the iPad3. It’s time to throw away all your earlier versions and get the new one. Or maybe you can donate your older one to your church or a mission or something. So forget the budget, fork over the $499 and go for it. Unless you want to get more memory for another $100, or more speed for another $130? Sure, why not just go for $729?
It’s time for a shameful confession. I don’t have an iPad; or an iPhone, or even, for that matter, an iPod. But golly, I have wanted one, or rather all three. I see people scrolling through their Bible on them in church and wish it were me. I saw an employee in a supermarket parking lot yesterday scrolling on his iPhone while he rounded up empty shopping carts. If he can have one, why can’t I?
I’d like to pretend that my decision to not buy them was part of a principled stance on Biblical finance but it is not. It would be great if I could say that I set aside the funds that could have gone to them and sent them instead to world missions but I did not. It would be more accurate to say that it is a combination of laziness and my being technologically challenged. You can also add that, for an old guy like me, I really don’t want to go to the Apple store and demonstrate to some 20-something sales guy what a technological dummy I am by asking stupid questions like “How do I turn it on?”
So here I sit, looking at an iPad commercial and somehow stumbling into a bunch of the deadly sins like pride (not wanting to look stupid) and covetousness (really wanting one anyway). I feel as if I am at that awkward age where I am too old to figure out all this stuff and too young to ignore it while I wait to slide gracefully into the grave.
I could deal with the pride issue by just going to the store and biting the bullet. I probably won’t even have to start by confessing my technological shortcomings to the sales guy. I suspect that Apple has probably trained him not to snicker; and least not until after I leave.
That covetousness thing might be a tad harder though. I find myself wondering “What’s the big deal about that anyway, God? Why have you decided that I shouldn’t really, really want cool stuff?” And then I am amazed. I spent 20+ years in missions. For some of that time I had no electricity and no running water. The water was so foul you had to boil and filter it to drink it or even brush your teeth. What is more, not only was I not miserable in those years, I cherish them. What has happened to me?
I could blame the culture and the way they market products to create desire for things and it would be true – to a point. But the core problem is me. Even though I should know better; even though I could take hours counting the amazing blessings of my life; there is still something in me that can waste time coveting; which is why I am constantly thankful that God is such a gracious God.
I will probably get that iPad someday. Maybe I could rent a teenager to go with me to the Apple store and I can pretend I am buying it for him.