My husband and I moved to Michigan six months ago into a church-owned house. The house has been perfect for us–cozy, efficient, and just the right size for two people plus occasional overnight guests. It has decor, however, I would never choose–green walls, green wall-to-wall carpeting, and lots of pink (my least favorite color.) There are two pink bathrooms, a pink basement, and pink in just about every set of draperies in the house. The color combo is way too Lilly Pulitzer for me.
A couple of weeks ago the 1950’s pink sink in our bathroom died. The plumber who came to replace the leaky faucets announced, “They’re frozen, no way to get those old faucets out or replaced. The whole sink has to go.” I was devastated. In spite of its pinkness, this was a very cool sink. Even its color had grown on me.
I was surprised by my reaction. Not only had I adapted to my green and pink surroundings, but I had turned them into a sort of paragon of what this house was supposed to look like. How quickly my disdain for the decor had turned into indignation for maintaining the status quo. Adapting to “what is” can be a spiritual discipline. It’s about acceptance and contentment, about cultivating a not-covetous heart. But the downside for me of adapting is a perverse insistence that what I now have (whether I chose it or not) is the way things are supposed to be. It’s a tendency to want to solidify or idolize “what is” . A friend of mine says, “It only takes 15 minutes for something to become an idol.” For me there’s a fine line between adapting and idolatry. I often cross the line without knowing it.