Sunday, May 01, 2005

Vain Things That Charm
I've been asked, in a private email, to explain the post below. I decided if my friend doesn't get it, there may be others who don't, so I'll just answer publicly.

The hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, has a phrase, "All the vain things that charm me most, I lay them down before the cross." The hymn, and this phrase in particular, has always stood out to me. I can become so enamored with the things of this world that I forget that I am not of this world. I can forget my true calling and dote on material possessions. I need constant reminder of the cross to turn away from the temptations of the world.

I have never been tempted by the usual suspects: drunkeness, sexual impurity, other gods, or even fame and fortune. I am, however, greatly tempted by home furnishings...especially Pottery Barn home furnishings. I often imagine that if I were to become wealthy, I would completely outfit my home from Pottery Barn. Oh, yes, then life would begin. We would have parties every weekend and the house would always be clean, just like in the pictures. I'm just sure the perfectly appointed Pottery Barn home would include homecooked meals three times a day and compliant children who excel socially and scholastically. Oh, Pottery Barn, you could make life so simple for me, couldn't you.


See what I mean? So, when I saw this week's catalog in the mailbox, the hymn crossed my brain. "All the vain things that charm me most (which are in this book right here), I lay them down before the cross (and rest in you)."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan, I actually understood right away (because I also get these catalogs!), but then I clicked on the link you set up, and it took me to the hymn that was playing. And then I was a little confused. It got too spiritual then, and I started wondering if I'd misunderstood your reference.

Now I know that I was right with you all along!

By the way (this is also vain), I really like your hair. The golden shine to it is gorgeous!


10:08 PM, May 01, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks you about the golden shine stuff. It is interesting timing for you to say so. Just yesterday a clerk asked to see my ID. As many male clerks have done in the past, he remarked that he liked me better with dark hair! It IS strange that so many men would feel it their duty to inform me of their haircolor preferences...but I'm beginning to think perhaps I should listen. The thing is, though, I think what they like about the photo is really that I was younger and thinner, but they just say it was the hair. Also, I'm going "golden" because I'm really getting "olden" and they say your hair should get lighter with age. So, my choices are (1) my naturally "light" grey hair or (2) "golden shine." For now, its golden shine.

But I digress.

Why were you confused that I was "too spiritual?" NOW I'm worried! I guess I've been spouting out too much fluff.

10:23 PM, May 01, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The famous Gwen H. used to sing, "Earth holds no treasures
But perish with using,
However precious they be;
Yet there's a country
To which I am going:
Heaven holds all to me." (as a joke) when I would talk about something I wanted that I couldn't have (like a new swatch or a pair of Jams).

Angi L.

8:35 AM, May 02, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

Wise counsel - especially regarding the jams.

Although I've been hearing about Gwen for some 25 years now (and she sounds just awesome), I've never met her. I think its time I meet her, don't you?

8:45 AM, May 02, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:45 AM, May 02, 2005  

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