What is it within us that crave something else? Why do we look out for a new thing before ever considering what we have already within? I think about Oprah with all her mansions for one person and wonder will the next house be the one that really settles her soul? Is it so scary to be still and want what I possess already? What more do we really need? What are we really feeding when we eat without hunger? What about this face and body that is aging, can I embrace where I am or will I spend the second half of my life lamenting the loss of the first? Will the thing I want cure the restlessness? In a strong pinch where I wiggle and squirm to be free what would it take to be calm, have patience, and find contentment? It takes a supernatural faith in God and a belief that all good gifts come from above at the right time in the right way. “Be still and know that I am God.” He has already given me gifts, why am I looking for the one I don’t have?
I consider this new day that will unfold the moment school children descend the stairs and I wonder how I will use the gifts given to me. I could do some escape maneuvers, seek greener grass, and avoid all the potential problems, or I could face them head on and make a real difference somehow, somewhere. What if each day I embrace what I have rather than list what it is I want?
Sometimes we act like more money will make all our problems go away. I tend to think more money makes bigger problems and having that gorgeous house, the second house, the fast car, the pretty jewelry, youth, a svelte body, or fancy vacations doesn’t satisfy, it only opens the way to see what more there is to want. Some of the most miserable people I know have enough money to buy themselves out of their problems, and if it worked they would, but the truth is it doesn’t work.
Jack, the first sleepy head to appear, is searching through the fridge, “mom can you buy some more pears?” There are apples, raspberries, blueberries and grapes there. Instinctively he wants something else and isn’t willing to consider what is there now. Oivey.
I’m thinking about the children I know in Uganda who have nothing, really nothing. No parents, no food, no shoes, no school. Why is it they can still play and smile? Their faith in God is rock solid, and they are waiting for Him to move on their behalf. Meanwhile, they will use banana leaves and create a soccer ball so they can play a game.
I’m wondering about our tendencies to desire what we don’t have. I’m going to check myself today and see how many times I want something else, when I have so much here already. I’m putting contentment in a Petri dish and hope it grows. I can only imagine if I can get a handle on contentment and model it for the children what an impact it could have on the generations to come after me. One thing I do know: the children will do what I do, not what I say, and if I do ten things right they will get a cramp on the three I did wrong. Parenting is not for the weak.