A $26.95 store credit doesn't sound like a big deal because, in the great scheme of things, it's not. But when I lost the record of the return that garnered the store credit printed on a flimsy receipt the loss didn't feel so small.
When the store had issued the receipt I had stared at it, dumbfounded that they were not more advanced. Where was the plastic card that would fit so well in my wallet's compartments? The store informed me that they didn't have plastic cards. They had paper receipts. With a wink and a prayer I folded up the receipt and put it among the modern day gift and credit cards in my wallet, vowing to never lose the documentation of the pre-paid $26.95 future spending spree.
But all fantasies of a spree were crushed when, to my dismay, I opened my wallet to find the receipt gone. In disbelief I pulled every card, gum wrapper and penny from my wallet in search of a crumbled piece of glossy paper. It had been right there next to my library card and bright green debit card for weeks. And now it was gone before I even had the chance to spend my loot on the spring clutch I had been coveting in the store's front window.
After rummaging through drawers, stacks of papers and every nook and cranny of my car I was forced to accept defeat. As a last ditch effort to regain my small store credit fortune I recalled my sob story to the clerk at the store's check-out counter. With a shrug of her shoulders and paltry apologies she informed me that the store kept no record of my return but that the receipt would never expire. Tell that to the landfill, I thought to myself. Surely some trash bag will be very happy to receive my store credit.
Back at the front of the store I gazed upon the object of my store credit affections: a khaki colored clutch imprinted with pink and green paisley flowers. In that moment my foolishness dawned on me. No, not the foolishness of haphazardly sticking a piece of paper in-between some credit cards. Although that was silly and resulted in loss it was no where near as devastating as so strongly desiring a possession, a material thing, that I would allow it to spoil my joyful spirit and rack me with guilt. In allowing an object of this world to capture my attention I took my eyes off of Christ and put them on a clutch.
Back in the car a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I no longer had the credit and I didn't have the clutch. But I had something better: a renewed sense of peace and tranquility that only comes from resting in and having Christ. In an instant God restored to me the serenity that comes from being cleansed of wrongdoing and freed from guilt - even the guilt of losing a store credit and coveting worldly goods. Although I sinned and stumbled by seeking contentment in the offerings of the world God was quick to renew my spirit and replace my guilt and frustration with grace and mercy.
The trash has my store credit but Christ has my heart. When I look to Him I am filled with joy that can't be lost or misplaced. In Christ alone I have eternal contentment and satisfaction. And thankfully, there is no receipt required.