Monday, January 26, 2009

Lessons Learned on eBay

Once upon a time there was a girl who had a red, KitchenAide 4-slice toaster that she loved. The color of it made her smile when she walked into her kitchen, and it had a bagel button that made everyone in the family happy. That toaster breathed its last one day, and she began searching for a replacement. She was surprised to find that the folks at KitchenAide don't make that exact toaster anymore, but then her parents found a 2-slice version, pretty and red (also not made anymore) marked way down at their local department store.

They brought her the new toaster at Christmastime, and inside the box was a catalogue of other lovely items that KitchenAide made at the time the toaster was packaged. But ooh, something caught the girl's eye in that catalogue! A coffee mill/grinder! With a hopper that holds 16 ounces of beans; a grinder that has 16 different settings, from espresso to coarse; a design that replicates a 1938 (or 48, can't remember for sure) design, very fun and retro; and that comes in that same beautiful, smile-producing red color! "Hmmm," thought the girl, "I wonder how much that is? I love it! It would look great in my kitchen! It would fit right next to the coffee maker! I wouldn't have to take out the beans and grinder everyday...they'd be right there at the ready! I want it!"

Alas, KitchenAide doesn't make this mill/grinder anymore. She couldn't find a store anywhere that still had one laying around, marked way down like its cousin the 2-slice toaster. And this is how the girl found herself looking for this item on eBay. It was her first time to shop on eBay. And yippee! She found one--though it was stainless steel, not red--with a starting bid of only $9. "Wouldn't that be awesome," she thought. And even her husband agreed, a handy thing like this would be nice to have for twenty-five bucks or so. Yes, well. Um, as the bidding battle got down to the last two minutes, the girl finally surrendered to some other crazy shopper, who "won" it for $365!!! What happened?! How had she let herself agree to pay a whopping $360 for this thing? And it wasn't even red!

She found two others listed on eBay, one pink (not for her kitchen, thank you very much) and one....hear the music swell...RED! But this time, she had experience, and typed in the amount she'd be willing to pay, and walked away from the computer. She prayed about it, and in a moment of clarity, realized it's just a thing. If she got it, it would be fun, if she didn't, she would be ok. She thanked God for the new toaster. She asked God for forgiveness for getting swept up, for being so selfish and unwise. A few days later, she got an email announcing her "victory" for much, much less than $360, And today, her coffee maker has a friend standing next to it, and her toaster is no longer the lone red pop in the kitchen.

I believe God honors our prayers. I believe he honored mine about this purchase. Are you picturing Bruce Almighty suffocating in the mountains of post-it note/email prayers stacking up and thinking, "God doesn't want to be bothered with this kind of silliness, whether or not I buy this..." God is not Bruce. He wants us to move and make decisions thoughtfully. He wants us to think about good things, and if we take everything to Him, there's room in the noggin for the good things. He wants to hear about everything. It says so in the Bible:
Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:5-9


Sheila said...

NOW I want one...maybe I need to take it to prayer.
Thanks for the thoughts. They are good ones.

Anonymous said...

It is awfully cute. My kitchen is red....hmmmm...


Sheila said...

I think you might want to insure that baby.