Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bargain Boot Camp

My foray into couponing has occupied much of my time and attention. I feel like I'm in bargain boot camp. Day and night, hour by hour I'm training and there seems to be no end in sight. It is hard work to go from being a flabby spender, to a frugal fighting machine. Recently I was reading a book by John Piper, "Don't Waste Your Life" and he used a phrase "wartime lifestyle".

That phrase has been knocking around in my brain and haunting me. Why? Because it is foreign for me to think that way. Because it is necessary for me to think that way. Because it is right for me to think that way.

In the book an illustration is given about the Queen Mary, in the harbor at Long Beach California which is now a museum. The Queen Mary was used as both a luxury liner in peacetime and a troop transport during WWII. Currently as a museum it is set up as a contrast. One side shows the peacetime dining room with a table setting with 15 plates and saucers for the wealthy. On the other side the dining room reveals one metal tray with indentions. In peacetime there were 3,000 passengers. In wartime there were 15,000.

What would change about my life if I thought in these terms? How would this affect my spending? As I continue to ponder, let me share an excerpt from Piper's book.

"It is more helpful to think of a wartime lifestyle than merely a simple lifestyle. Simplicity may have a romantic ring and a certain aesthetic appeal that is foreign to the dirty business of mercy in the dangerous places of the world. Simplicity may also overlook the fact that, in wartime, major expenses for complex weapons and troop training are needed. These may not look simple and may be very expensive, but the whole country sacrifices to make them happen. Simplicity may be inwardly directed and may benefit no one else. A wartime lifestyle implies that there is a great and worthy cause for which to spend and be spent (2 Corinthians 12:15)."

A wartime lifestyle....what does that mean in practical every day life?

1 comment:

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

I know for us it means spending more in certain areas that will benefit others than ourselves--missionaries, hurting people, etc which leaves less money for us. This is such an appropriate picture of a very neccessary view. I don't mind sacrificing with a purpose--furthering the Kingdom, caring for "the least of these," etc. Thanks for sharing--we're working through some of these things ourselves.