“All that thrills my soul…is stuff?

There it sat. Plunked by the garage door as though dropped from a colossal hand. How I’d missed the delivery truck escaped me. But at least the driver had left my parcel.  I knew what that stove-sized box held and it excited me.

I’d given away the comfortable, though cumbersome, hide-a-bed in my home office. And while I appreciated the space it left, not having a dedicated guest room, I knew we’d need something sooner than later to accommodate visitors and grandbeans. So I’d gone on an online safari.

Flexing my fingers, I folded myself into my recliner (a patchwork Queen Anne piece, purchased for a song on Facebook Marketplace, mind you) and warmed my search engine. Ready, set, aim: Chair-beds. Chairs that make into beds. Sleeper chairs. Fold-out beds. Convertible chairs.

I hunted for weeks without finding anything, let alone something for a song. When finally I snared my target at a large online store, I held my breath and ordered two. A tickle of anticipation bubbled.

But would the chairs live up to their online reviews? Would the colour match their picture? Would they fit the space? Would they be sturdy enough, comfortable enough, attractive enough, easy enough to convert? I wanted to KNOW those chairs, not simply see a photo or read someone else’s experience. And I couldn’t wait.

I followed my order’s progress online as it made its way from a New Jersey manufacturer to depots in Quebec, then Ontario, Manitoba and finally Saskatchewan. I sensed it getting closer, but that very day, the tracking site had noted my order wouldn’t arrive for another week. It thrilled me to find it early.

I’m sitting in one of the chairs as I write this. I’ve also slept in it. Except for their colour (slightly darker than pictured) and a bit of an assembly glitch on one chair—they’re perfect. Everything I hoped for. That tickles me.

But this niggles: Sometimes—even often—my delight in and preoccupation with stuff eclipses my delight in my Saviour. The God I lean on in troubled times, in whom I rest my weary soul, under whose wings I shelter in life’s storms. And in whose Word I find vital guidance for all of life.

I’ve confessed that to Jesus. Thanked him for so often providing the material things we need, and some we simply want. But I’ve let him know I’m aiming for better. I want to anticipate what I’ll find in his Word more than I did what I’d find in that box. I want to sing, “All that thrills my soul is Jesus; he is more than life to me,” and mean it. I want to experience him for myself, not simply read others’ reviews.

Because I know this: no stuff, no experience, relationship or adventure can satisfy more than Jesus Christ. When we have everything but a relationship with him, we have nothing. And when we have nothing but him, we have everything.

Father, when I’m blinded by the new and shiny, remind me.