On the Fourteenth of December…

I took a trip to the Post Office.

Yep.  I did.  People can rhapsodize about the ‘good old days’.  Whether they mean way back in the 1800’s, early 1900’s, the beautiful and glamorous ’40s (or so says Hollywood), their own childhood… it doesn’t matter, I don’t long for those days.

Yes, there are things about those times that I admire and envy but with those good, comes so many ‘bad’.  I don’t want the disease, the hard work, the uncertainty of life… I like our modern conveniences.  I like that I’m not forced to accept them.  I like that I can choose to use my wonderful gas heater, install a woodstove, or choose to shiver if I am so ridiculously crazy to do so.  I can choose to make every gift we give, buy every gift we give, or choose not to give at all.  I can shop in stores, from craft booths, or even garage sales.  I can go online, buy for everyone, and not leave the comfort of my own chair.

I like that I can go to the post office on a Sunday afternoon, punch a few buttons, and voila!  Shipped with no lines.  Had I REALLY wanted to do it easily, I could have gone to the post office website, printed my own postage, and had the mail carrier take it away tomorrow..

I love the beauty of a life lived differently.  I love to imagine myself willing to walk five miles to mail a letter that I hand wrote.  I love the idea of going into my own woodlot, cutting down a tree, sawing it up, splitting it, and heating my home with it but you know what… I won’t do it.  I’d do it for survival, but never by choice.  So instead, I write about it and enjoy it by proxy.   All the fun and beauty of it without any of the work.  It’s beautiful.  To me anyway.

So today, I appreciated my car, my electricity, my laptop, kiosks in the post office, grocery stores packed with food that I didn’t have to grow, harvest, can, freeze, or butcher. I loved picking up my gallons of milk that I didn’t have to hand milk, strain, scald pans, or scrub teats to get.  I loved the wide variety of options that I would never have gotten from my own little homestead.

I thank the Lord for the twenty-first century.  We have medical advancements that keep our children healthier than most centuries, our parents live to see their grandchildren, and lethal epidemics are few and far between.  I love our comforts, our pleasures, and our ability to do so much more than any century yet.

Yet, I confess, I know that with these things comes a self-centeredness that I wonder if it is unique to us.  Not that there hasn’t always been self-centeredness but that we have our own unique brand and I wonder what the long-term effects of it will be.  Somehow, I think we need to be careful not to allow the blessings of today become the curses of tomorrow.

I’ll ponder that as I enjoy my internet, my automobile, my electricity, my natural gas, and the myriad of other modern conveniences and pray that the Lord shows me where I am using them to my or my family’s detriment.

God bless us one and all.


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