Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
I am not surprised this is where I was led this morning as I asked God for deeper understanding of Joy. He has kind of been in 2×4 plank upside the head mode lately. You know, those times when you petition God for deeper understanding and the answers seem to come from all directions in all different forms and yet we still beg for wisdom cuz we can’t see it. And then with a clarity that stings it reveals how foolish and blind you’ve actually been.
One source that has been helpful to me this New Year is a daily devotional video blog by a motivational coach Darren Hardy. (Side note: I encourage everyone who wants to make changes in his/her own life to check it out; he offers small time investments with great dividends with each video I’ve watched).
Currently his New Years (2016) series so far has been incredibly inspirational in that (for me) he places the blame for mediocre results in life right where it belongs, on me! My lack of motivation, determination, endurance, decision making, follow through, commitment, focus.
As you can imagine it’s incredibly convicting (much like another book I know) yet if taken with the right heart and perspective it can be incredibly freeing.
Yes I have emotional immaturity from a childhood of abuse but my lifelong pursuit of short-term-reward and ultimately meaningless endeavors were my choice to cope with that pain. My laziness, lack of focus, lack of having dreams, lack of self worth and lack of taking ownership for my decisions has been my choice.
One of my biggest daily disappointments and struggle has been my 2-3hr commute every day to the office. In hindsight I realize that was 100% my choice to work where I work and live where I live; I am not a victim of that circumstance and to whine about it but do nothing to change it has been MY CHOICE.
And as my eyes open to that reality I have also had the realization it’s a little pathetic to complain about it and not pursue a solution. I mean, does anyone really want to hear me whining about a situation I created as if it was done to me… and hear the same whine for a year!
Sometimes when God opens our eyes to the true root of our problems what we see is oftentimes in direct opposition to what we thought was the problem: IE the problem all along is us, not them! If we want a change to a circumstance or relationship but do nothing about it; that is on us!
So what’s the alternative to this rabbit trail?
Ecclesiastes 1:8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
Philippians 4:11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
Solomon tells us how foolish it is to want what we don’t have and Paul tells us how fulfilling life can be regardless of what we have.
CONTENTMENT IS JOY
It’s not about what we have or what we can or can’t do, it’s about WHO WE ARE (to borrow on the theme from yesterday’s blog)
It’s OK to desire and pursue increase whether physical, material or even spiritual in nature however any of those pursuits can push out the only need that has any hope of being fully quenched this side of heaven and that is our relational pursuit of Christ.
Matthew 5:6 The Message (MSG)
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
Lord it is so incredibly simple yet so elusively difficult. All You want is us, and all You designed us for is the same innate hunger for more of You. Our relationship needs to hold a place of value above all others. Of course my flesh desires vindication, power, pleasure, retribution, comfort, easiness with a default mode of prideful and lustful … but none of that Father that brings me closer to richly living in a love relationship with You. Give me the heart to sacrifice my everything for You, may I live as if You are my Lord and not just say the words. You are my salvation; thank You for the free will that allows me the CHOICE to live like it. To You alone be the glory Lord.