What Do I Really Want?
I’m stuck with a “hard” decision. If there is something you know you want (but don’t “need”) and know you have the money for it (but there are “better” things to do with your money), and then find it at a price that’s acceptable to you (let’s hypothetically say… 40% off)… is it okay to buy it?
Let’s just be honest for a bit here and expose my struggle: the thing that I’ve been wrestling with the past few nights out to the ether of the internet: should I, or shouldn’t I, buy a PlayStation 3?
There are a few major facts that I need to disclose first, however:
- My wife and I are about to move into a new house. With that comes all the expenses you would expect like a refrigerator, window treatments, and a couch so that we can watch TV in our nifty new bonus room. So while we have money available… it maybe shouldn’t go to a video game.
- I’m a gamer by birth. I’ve been playing games all of my life, because my dad was a gamer before there was the term “gamer.” This means that I already own a Wii and an Xbox 360 (my GamerTag is “Top Rope Suplex”). So it’s not like I “need” another gaming system, I know.
- My wife is a big movie watcher. I’m a big comic bookay reader. The only place I can get Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider in high-def is on Blu-Ray. The PS3 is the cheapest Blu-Ray player. Thus, we “need” the PS3 to watch the comic bookay movies in HD. (Ok, ok… for full disclosure… I have the HD-DVD Drive for the Xbox 360 already, too.)
You see, I feel like I’ve already been blessed with so much. I have a beautiful wife, wonderful friends, and now a home that Ashley and I have been dreaming of where we can entertain, feed people, and have a small group meet in our home (which we’re starting in September - much excitement). I already have two game systems… do I “need” a third?
Ultimately, my thoughts are turning to the struggle of is it okay for me to keep so much for myself? Do I even want to keep so much for myself? I feel guilty because I know we have friends who are not “struggling,” lifestyle-wise, but have chosen to live on less. We’re friends with a married couple who have two children and they’re trying to get to a point where they both only work part-time jobs so they can be home with each other more often. One of our friends chose to, just for the experience, learn how to live off of spending only one dollar a day for food. I have friends who would literally give you the shirt off their back - or the bicycle off their front porch. And here, I fret about buying another game system so that I can play a few more games.
I know I “want” it. How do I discern what wants are okay to fulfill and what wants are okay to keep on wanting? How cheap does the PS3 have to get before it is “good stewardship” to spend money on it? How much of our abundance do we give away before I stop feeling bad about keeping some for us?
I don’t imagine I’ll actually buy the PS3 anytime soon. Even though I know there’s a good deal going on for me right now that probably won’t be as cheap for another year or so… since my mind has been struggling so much about this I don’t know that I feel comfortable paying out that money just yet.
I don’t want to be overwhelmed with abundance. I want to give away what we can, but I also want to keep the appropriate amount of “stuff” for me. I don’t know that we’re supposed to give everything away, but I don’t know how much we’re supposed to hold on to, either.
I’m a gamer, and I’ll keep playing the Wii and the Xbox 360 and - more than likely - some day I’ll buy a PS3, too. I just wish it was easier to know when to do things for yourself - when it’s okay and not being selfish.
Sigh. This shouldn’t be such a spiritual struggle, should it? I mean… it’s just stuff, right?