Monday, April 12, 2010

Do you want what you have or do you have what you want?

I recently read a line in a fictional book that stated, "It is better to want what you have than to have what you want."

Hmmmmm.... It is sort of a wierd statement but it makes a lot of sense. I was explaining this morning why Rome invaded Egypt to my 5 year old son (who is VERY into the Eyptian Playmobil playset right now and wanted to know why on the advertisment it had Roman centurions marching towards the pyramids). He didn't quite get it when I gave him the historical answer so we had the following conversation:
I asked him, "Do you pretty much always want new toys?" He said "yes." I then responded, "And do you want to give up your old toys in order to get the new ones?" "No." "And when you get the new ones do you stop wanting other new ones?" "No." (Ahhh...isn't it nice when your child plays right into your hands!)

I then went on to explain that all of us always want more than what we have because we are all sinful. We crave what we see if we do not have it. As you get older the toys just change and become bigger or emphemeral substances like power, acclaim, or beauty. There is a reason why the sin of coveting is included in the Ten Commandments!

How many of us constantly want something other than what we have but when we get it, we are not satisfied the way we thought we would be? I would be pretty surprised if someone can tell me they are 100% content in their life.

While this tendency to see the grass in someone else's yard as greener can lead us away from God, it can also lead us to Him. We are all longing for the empty space within us to be filled. We look to relationships, money, power, youth, beauty and all the other wonderful things that God created for us to fill that hole...but they don't. God created those things for us to delight in, but not to fill us. God is the only one who can fill those empty spaces and places within us AND He longs to do just that. God longs for us to call upon Him for peace and contentment rather than to look for it in His creation.

Before you log off today, scroll down and read Psalm 23. The next time you begin to want something that you don't have, look at what you do have and ask God to help you be satisfied.


Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD


Anonymous January 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM  

This is beautiful! And it was just the reminder I needed as this new year begins. I try to instill the same values in my 4-yr old, and pray she is able to internalize these values.

Peace and blessings to you and your family, and may this year be beautiful for you all!