A few years ago, I managed a Starbucks in an upscale mall in Orlando Florida. Just outside my store was an open courtyard encircled by tall masts with large LED screens mounted on top. All day, loud music played while images splashed across the screens. Around the courtyard, black leather ottomans filled up with relaxed shoppers. Children, taking advantage of the wide-open space, ran, leaped, and tumbled in spite of their parents protest.
Anytime I crossed the courtyard I glanced at the shoppers lounging while they stared up at the big screens. Mesmerized, they glared at the images of beautiful countryside’s, the space shuttle taking off, and beautiful, thin, well-dressed Floridians, seemingly enjoying the time of their lives.
The feed came to a close with footage of the most recent fashion shows from around the world. One by one, perfectly dressed models marched at you like million dollar stallions; their gowns hanging off their starving bodies.
The final shot showed happy shoppers entering and leaving through the malls massive glass doors. Large print flashed saying, “You were meant for this.”
One day, as I watched the models strut, I wondered how many of us feel we were meant for a more glamorous life. After all, I did long to be rich enough to buy the $60,000 necklace in the window of the jewelry store next to my Starbucks.
But maybe we were meant for all this. After all, God promises us a kingdom with gates of pearls and streets lined with gold. And the Bible does say He’s building a mansion just for me.
So, maybe my longing is genuine. Maybe I’m not made for this world.
Perhaps when sin entered the garden, God didn’t change our desire for perfection. Maybe our longings for luxury come more from our exile from Eden, than our lack of funds. And by remembering we’re just travelers in this present age, we can stop focusing on what we don’t have here, and look to the one who promises to give us all good things.