The Art of Comparison

Do you know what I did a couple months ago?

I bought a $22 teether. Like, a baby teether. A $22 French one with a stupid name: Sophie.

I bought it because everyone had it. All the moms at the nursery, all the moms at the park, all the moms being paid to talk about it in my parenting magazines…everyone had a Sophie the Giraffe.

One of the product descriptions is that she draws in all 5 of baby’s senses at once. If we’re honest, my baby’s senses do just fine with a red solo cup, yet something about this little giraffe is irresistible. It could be that she’s made of equal parts unicorn tears and skittles…I don’t know.

Sophie is not really to blame here. I have to admit that Beckett is sort of drawn to her and she does get good reviews. And is pretty cute.

The point is, we already had about 19 teethers at home and Sophie was $22 (actually, $25 where I bought her)…but I still had to buy her. I was the only one without her in my child’s life. My son was destined to be developmentally delayed without her – assuming he even made past teething without her hand-crafted, soothing, BPA-free self long enough to develop at all.

So I bought one.

Unfortunately, this isn’t even really a story about Sophie. She’s just an example. She hasn’t been the first and won’t be the last. It’s really a story about contentment.

First it was Limited Too jeans, not the JC Penny’s brand. Then it was a pager, not just a personal landline. Then it was a new car at 16, not a manual 1995 Civic. Then it was an engagement ring – no less than 1 carat. Then it was a Sophie the Giraffe, not a frozen washcloth. Then it was a new house in a gated community, not a rent house with con-artist-neighbors. Then it was…

It never ends, really.

There’s just something in us. Something in us that makes us compare ourselves to others and want what they have, plus more. Something in us that desires validation and acceptance and respect and and identity and…everything that a million Sophies won’t ever really give us.

I want to be content where I’m at with what I’ve been given. There’s too much pressure to keep up and, really, it doesn’t make me any happier.

So, thank you, Lord, for our little rent house that is falling apart as I type. It keeps us dry and safe. Thank you for our neighbors who hang out in their garages and walk their dogs in bathrobes. They are always friendly and keeping watch. (ALWAYS keeping watch. always.) Thank you for Taylor’s truck that may or may not have air conditioning tomorrow. We are so fortunate to have 2 vehicles. Thank you for the food we have to eat and the clothes we have to wear. We are truly thankful and very, very blessed.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

8 thoughts on “The Art of Comparison

  1. Jessica

    I thought buying a different (and cheaper – though still $15) version of Sophie meant that I somehow had less discontentment. What was I thinking??!!!!
    Thank you for your words today, Sarah – such a good reminder!

  2. Lizeth Morris

    Though we were oblivious to the Sophie hype (?!?!) and yet still survivied, the rest definitely applies. Thanks, Bob.

  3. Christie

    Wait… You had a pager??

    That’s not all I got from that, I promise. I read something powerful on Pinterest a few weeks ago that I don’t want to try and find… But it just said things like “Thank you God for the 5 (10,15) pounds I want to lose because it means I have enough to eat. Thank you for the kitchen, living room, bed rooms and offices I need to clean because it means I have a house…” and on and on in that vein. How easily we are dissatisfied as spoiled Americans, and even more shockingly, as extravagantly blessed Christians.

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