Lessons from a Clothes Shopping Fast

Distinguishing between needs and wants—and why it's important to our souls.

The clothing experiment has even impacted our other consumption habits. While wrestling a shopping cart free in the grocery store foyer one day, a bright neon poster caught my eye. The sign featured this critical alert, "All Your Halloween Needs on Aisle 12!" There was a day when I might have made a beeline to aisle 12. Now, smiling to myself, I wondered what the big need could possibly be. Fake cob webs? Gummy eyeballs? Honestly, keeping myself from doctoring the misleading sign, with the black Sharpie I kept in my purse, took more self-control than avoiding the holiday necessities.

A Lie; the Truth

As our eyes were opened, it became evident that we'd been buying more than clothes. We'd bought a lie. The promise of satisfaction with our next purchase no longer rang true. Ads featuring the season's "must have" styles lost their appeal. Even the altitude of my panty line seemed increasingly irrelevant. Our old anxieties were slowly replaced by the dawning realization that a gracious Provider had already met all our needs.

I think this is what Jesus meant when he tried to convince his friends that his Father was dependable. If God clothed the flowers so beautifully, Jesus had argued, can't you trust that he'll clothe you too? He could have been speaking directly to me. "What I'm trying to do here," says Jesus, "is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving …. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out" (Luke 12:29-32, The message). No longer afraid of missing out, I'm happy to report that Sarah and I have indeed experienced Jesus' assurance to be entirely true.

These days, as I drive past my favorite stores, I breathe a prayer of gratitude to Jesus' Father, and mine, that my needs have been met. I even tack on a request that the clothes inside those stores would end up on the bodies of God's children who might actually need them. For some reason, that whole notion doesn't seem to be as radical anymore, as I once thought it might be.

Margot Starbuck is a writer and speaker who resides in North Carolina with her family. She is the author of Small Things with Great Love and Permission Granted. www.margotstarbuck.com.

Subscriber access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
This article is currently available to TCW subscribers only.
To continue reading:
Margot Starbuck

Margot Starbuck, award-winning writer and speaker, is a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary. A TCW regular contributor and columnist, Margot speaks regularly on discipleship, justice, and living love in the world God loves. Connect with Margot on Facebook, Twitter, or at MargotStarbuck.com.

Free Encouraging Words Newsletter

Sign up today for our Daily newsletter: Encouraging Words Daily Devotional for Women. Start each day with inspiration and encouragement straight from God’s Word.

Read These Next

For Further StudyFor Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper

Current Issue

November 25, 2015
November 25