In order to arrive in Boise with a fresh outfit, I decided to send a pair of pants, a t-shirt, sweater, and a pair of bright green Nike sport socks to the laundry at my Vegas hotel. When it was finished, a very polite Valet brought it to my room. Everything was hung in plastic with panache - the items looking more elegant than they ever had when I actually bought the items from the store! I thought, "Wow, what a great dry cleaning company!"
Also attached to the hanging clothes was a small white box. The kind of gift box you might use when giving someone a sweater for Christmas. I couldn't imagine why a box had arrived with my clothes. I took off the top and saw fresh white tissue paper carefully folded over what was inside. It was as pristine as if it had come straight from Saks Fifth Avenue. I was becoming more intrigued by the minute. I slowly unwrapped the beautiful tissue wondering what in the world could be in the box -- and found -- my one pair of bright green Nike sport socks! Only in Vegas!
For a moment I was catapulted back to the earlier glamour days of Vegas and remembered being amidst such elegance and 'class' when I was a young child. As I stared at my socks lying on soft tissue in a beautiful gift box, I realized that even a small pair of green sport socks could be treated with honor and respect. Even a small pair of green sport socks could have elegance and 'class.'
It made me wonder where all the 'class' has gone. Why have we become satisfied with messy stores, low quality goods, tawdry useless trinkets? Why are we content to sell ourselves and others short when it comes to excellence? Why are we willing to be so busy that we can't take the time to give respect and honor to the the least important things, and even more importantly, persons among us? Have beauty and the care of people and things taken a backseat to convenience, multi-tasking, and marketing dollars?
Every day we have the opportunity to witness excellence, elegance, and class. We have only to look at a stunning wildflower, or watch a sunrise, or hear an ocean wave, or see someone we love. God has placed us in a world of beauty and abundance -- in nature, in things, in work, in people. Yet, we squander that beauty when we settle for what is less than the best in ourselves, in our work, in our possessions, in our food, in our relationships. Imagine how different the world might be if we just treated everything and everyone with honor, respect and excellence!
I know that I felt differently about those bright green Nike sport socks when I pulled them out of the elegant tissue paper in the white gift box. And, I want to care more for that pair of socks now. Treat them more tenderly and with more gratitude. It may be only one pair of socks but they are more special to me now. This whole saga has made me want to craft a new 'Look Well Within' extended course on Simplicity - so be on the lookout! Maybe it will help us go for less and have more!
And, I just might watch again the 1964 movie starring Elvis Presley: "Viva Las Vegas" -- the town that reminded me of simplicity and the abundance of God!