Our 1st World Obsessions

Our First World obsessions. How did we get them? Picture-perfect homes, with fine decor, and all artistically arranged. I can’t help but wonder: How did we get to this point? 

First world problems

I recently read a post about wall lights that get installed after construction. The kind that have their cords dangling down the wall. It was all about hiding those cords. Because those cords… well, they’re unsightly, messy, and bothersome. Detracting from our picture-perfect homes. A problem to correct.

I must admit that I don’t care for their messy appearance, not that I have any. But such things do irritate my perfectionist tendencies. But when I reflected on it, the fact that they bother me began to trouble me!

They sell gadgets to hide those cords. Special casings to make them neat, pretty, and picture-perfect.

But it was the comments on that article that spoke to me most of all. People had been obsessing over those cords! And who knows how many other minor, trivial details of their home decor? 

How did we get this way?

Why do we fuss over minor things instead of counting our blessings? Seeking perfection and always wanting more. Why can’t we be more thankful for what we already have?

How did we in the First World end up like this?

How did we get this way?

And I’m guilty too. So I’m thankful for that article. It served to remind me how many things I have and take for granted. Many in the Third World would rejoice over having lights at all, messy cords and all. In fact, they wouldn’t even notice the cords at all!

A special prayer

So I’m saying a special prayer today.

Thank you, Lord, that I have electricity. At the flip of a switch, both in and out of the house. A light in every room, and flashlights if needed. A fridge, hot water heater, computers, and various small appliances. Help me remember that my ugly electric cords are there only because I am blessed to have lights! So thank you Lord for light, messy cords and all!

Are you sometimes guilty of obsessing over minor details? If you need help in this area, read: Cultivating Contentment in a World of Stuff. And discover 5 essential tools for cultivating deep, lasting contentment!

May we always remember to give thanks for all our plenty!

Images: Bedroom by qimono | Light by Amel Majanovic | Teapot by EVG Kowalievska.

22 thoughts on “Our 1st World Obsessions

  1. When we moved to Italy in the 1980s, the home we rented was new and did not have many of the things that we take for granted, like overhead light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, bathroom lights and mirror, etc. Things we had taken for granted.

    One morning in Delhi, we saw a woman crawl out of her small sidewalk tent, stand up as she combed her hair, and look towards the sky and smile. We were convicted.

    Thank you for reminding us how fortunate we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reread this and was reminded of how ungrateful I can be! I’m not a perfectionist, but I do like nice things. But the older I get, the more I realize those “things” don’t define me or add to my value as a person. I loved your prayer, my friend. Thank you for the reminder!


    1. You’re so right, Dayle. Stuff can never add to our value. Especially in God’s eyes. But we sure do crave it. I need the blessed, and ever elusive, gift of gratitude so much. Trust me, I needed this reminder as much as you!


  3. Gratitude is in such short supply. It’s so easy for me to move to that place of entitlement–I NEED hot running water, I NEED pretty things, I NEED more. And I don’t. Thanks for the reminder of our sufficiency coming from a place where things are just wood, hay, and stubble. Where real value is in how we’re seen and enjoyed by our Lord and now what our homes look like–or don’t look like. Have I told you how much I enjoy the way you think?


    1. I think it’s a reminder most of us need, continually. We fall so easily into the trap of thinking we always need more! And yes, you have told me that. We are, indeed, kindred spirits, dear friend!


  4. You are so correct! What really gets to me are the trends that are set by…who sets them, anyway?! And why do we feel the need to conform to what’s “in?” I’m guilty of it, too, at times – but more and more I’m ashamed at the time and money this desire for conformity can rob me of! Good blog!


    1. Thank you, Patty. And the thing about these trends is that a new one passes quickly, only to be quickly replaced by the next new (and supposedly better) fad or trend. May we learn to follow God’s voice and have his courage to go against the tide when necessary. His help is only a prayer away!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes, Sheila, perfectionism shreds contentment. Thank you for finding me, because it lead me to you and your lovely blog. Hugs for you both. Xx


    1. Thank you Jane! I apologize for the delay in responding, but we were in the states visiting family and friends after an 8 year absence. I love the way you put that, that perfectionism shreds contentment. How true!! And the sad thing is that the striving for perfectionism is an endless quest. Thereby leading to constant discontent. How much better to seek true contentment!! Have a great day!


      1. Oh Sheila, how lovely for you both to be visiting family, especially after a long time apart. I hope you had a wonderful time and have many heart memories. Hugs Xx


  6. You are absolutely right about the things that we in First World countries take for granted. I’m chuckling a little, however, because our bedrooms don’t have ceiling fixtures so I just bought a lamp on a cord to plug into the wall and hang from a hook (and I was excited to have more light!) 🤣


    1. Good for you Linda! I wish we could always keep that attitude about everything, but sometimes it seems like a struggle. I think we are bombarded by too much advertising and then we start playing the comparison game… 😦


  7. Thanking God for all His blessings. Yes, from messy cords to light switches to food that nourishes our bodies to the blessing of being His child, we are truly loved by Him.


    1. Yes Mimi, and when we count our blessings we don’t have so much time to think about what we wish we had or fretting over minor imperfections, that in the end account won’t even matter at all!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. SO TRUE, Sheila! We need constant reminders to be grateful for what we have, because the world is constantly reminding us of what we DON’T have and trying to convince us we need it (whatever “it” is.) Your prayer to thank God for electricity reminded me of the three hurricanes we experienced while living in Florida, which caused the power to go out–twelve days one time. THAT’S when you appreciate all the electrical conveniences we enjoy! (We did have a generator for the second and third hurricanes, so we could run a few things at a time: the fridge, a fan, and maybe one other item.)


    1. That’s just it Nancy, we are bombarded by ads, people, and society making us think we need more & more and better & better. Oh for deep and true contentment, the kind the apostle Paul had when he said that he had learned to be content in any state. And he went through some really tough times!!

      Liked by 1 person

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