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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Enjoying what we have

I enjoy a good meal, a little time with a close friend, and hugs from my grandsons.  I also enjoy rainy days, a good book, and a sappy movie.  You could probably make a list of things you enjoy, as well.  Some might list things like a sporty car able to zip on down the road with wind blowing wistfully through their hair, or perhaps a long walk on the beach at sunset. Some of what we enjoy is because of where we are or what we possess - the car or beach make the occasion.  For others, it is about who we are with that the "cements" the enjoyment factor.  I would go with the latter - for the company I keep makes all the difference in how much I enjoy the moment! As some of you know who have been following me for some time, I am "single again" - meaning I was married, but have been without a spouse in my life for over 26 years now.  You could say my life's journey has not been the same since the divorce, and you would not be far from the truth - because the past 26 years have done more to "cement" my relationship with Jesus and brought me much enjoyment in the process!  Now, I am not advocating divorce, but if you find yourself in the situation of being "alone" in this world, you can choose to bemoan the fact or you can allow God to turn your moaning into dancing!  


It’s better to enjoy what we have than to always want something else, because that makes no more sense than chasing the wind.  (Ecclesiastes 6:9 CEV)


Always wanting something else is a dangerous habit we sometimes fall into in this life.  I know I run into this in my own life as it applies to food!  I have fruit, veggies, and the like in the refrigerator, but when I get the munchies in the evening hours, I want "something else"!  You know what I am talking about, don't you?  We have hamburger in the freezer, but want steak.  We drive a Ford, but want a Ferrari.  We live in a comfortable house, but we want a mansion of sorts.  What we don't recognize is what Solomon was trying to reveal to us in the Book of Ecclesiastes:  Life is filled with choices - choose wisely and you will enjoy life much more than if you make the choices of a fool!

I Timothy 6:6 reminds us "Godliness with contentment is great gain".  Nothing is farther from the truth than the idea that God wants us poor or "impoverished" in any manner.  In fact, he wants us to know all he has is at our disposal - for we are his kids.  What Paul was telling Timothy was that when you enter into this relationship with Jesus (what some call religion, but I call relationship), you find yourself learning true contentment.  The things which once held such an appeal to you begin to take on lesser importance - the shiny sports car is fun to drive, but it isn't all we live for anymore. 

Learning to enjoy what we have - not what we could have, should have had, might someday have - but what we have.  This is something mom's try to teach their kids when they are little tykes - when they tell them they cannot have every toy in the store just because they want it!  It is something we continue to learn when we get into grade school when the teacher reminds us we need to apply ourselves to get the "A" or "Outstanding" on our report care, not just show up in class.  So, why is it we come into adulthood still so conflicted with this lack of contentment?  Maybe it is because we have this little thing called "eyes" - cuz what the eye sees long enough, the heart somehow comes to want!

Back in the day, when I was a kid, we lived in a time when Sears would issue their Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer catalogs.  Anyone remember those days with me?  We'd pour through those catalogs in the evening hours, imagining how we'd look in that new dress, admiring the shiny appliances, and thumbing through endless possibilities of all we could own if we had the money to buy it!  Catalogs were "fodder" for the discontented heart!  Today, we have such things as EBay, Amazon, and all manner of internet shopping experiences.  Now, lest you think I am against any of these sites, let me clarify that I am an Amazonian!  I like the prices I find there, the convenience of having it delivered to the house, and I often find selections of items there I cannot find in my local stores.  When I needed a shed, I went that route because I didn't have a truck to pick one up at the local retailer and it came it a huge box!!!  I needed it to be forklifted into my backyard close to where it would be erected, so Amazon it was!

My point is this little problem we have with our eyes - for they are often the very thing which allow the first "niggling" of desire to begin to take root within.  If we realize this, we might just treat what we allow our eyes to behold and / or how frequently we behold those things a little differently.  For example, I am in the market for a new washer and dryer.  I have used the internet to help me "filter" the ones I am most interested in as I have a limited space in which they will fit.  Then I can read the reviews by those who have already used these models.  In time, I have come to filter it down to just a couple of choices.  If I keep pouring over and over these sites, I become more and more confused.  So, I found a couple which will work well for me, and am now waiting for them to come on sale.  Wisdom is needed in what we allow our eyes to behold and / or how often we take in what it is which forms desire within.

In time, we learn that some things (like God's Word) can be taken in ad infinitum, while things like some of the reality shows on TV we are better off not to take in at all!  Learning to control what comes in the "eye gate" goes a long way in determining how content we will be in this lifetime!  Just sayin!