(These are just the 2012 books, I got more for Christmas!)
Be careful, this this where self condemnation can set in. The echos of what I should do or how I should feel begin. But I know, that I know, that I know, that I know it is not about what I can do, not about how good I can be. Within me there is the resolve that Jesus is enough. So why can't I feel that?
One would think that contentment should be easily attained, especially in in our culture where we have so much at our fingertips. We have everything. What a rich and beautiful nation we live! Even the lowest of the low sit on a mountain of treasures. In a crowd of people, there is a gadget in almost every hand. We aren't forced to eat of bland, meager rations. We have super-sized portions filled with the finest spices and delicacies. With great reason, our country can boast of our intellect, our credentials, our advancements. But careful! Just what are we advancing toward, or better yet, away from? No matter how high on the corporate ladder we climb, we are never fully satisfied. We lean to our logic and our cognizance lacks.
If our value isn't derived from our intelligence, then it must be from our beauty. Ah, to be the alluring woman. Right? With the right duds you could pass for a super model, in the right dim lighting. I know I am guilty of filling my Pinterest pinboard with the loveliest of new trends to add to my wardrobe. Even fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty and the fairest of them all, Snow White in wee toddlerhood illustrate the value of beauty. Does it ever satisfy? Styles change, fashion week is still pulling the strings. You be the judge. It leaves us still wanting.
Desire leads to desire. Craving, compulsion, need and then finally requirement is what you are left telling yourself. Have you ever said "I need a new outfit to wear to that party." or "We need a bigger house."? I just said that, like yesterday! We aren't really in need. We lack for little. We are looked upon with covetous gazes by those who really do have needs. Needs unmet. What are we doing with our illustrious abundance? Seeking more of it.
I remember distinctly, the sweetest conversation with a dear friend. We relished of having gotten a taste of bliss here and there in the intimacy of our gatherings to pour over His Word. Why only here and there? Why not daily? Does my Jesus not mean for us to live in His fulfillment always? Then His Word answers. God used my husband's sweet gesture; an email with a simple scripture, to speak intimately to me. "You will seek Me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart." - Jeremiah 29:13 It said all, didn't it?
My conclusion? We have too much! Too much materialism, too much entertainment, too much going, too much work, too much responsibility apart from Him. If I sit and analyze, like the good Type-A that I am, my pursuits, possessions, my heart, what portion is His? I am heavyhearted and humbled.
We think we are refined, enlightened, accomplished, stylish, when really these things are heaped upon us, covering the one, true heir to contentment. We rummage through all of our stuff trying to fill the void to make us whole. The stuff never fits.
I desire wholeness. I want more of Him and less of the lackluster excess. With less we must trust. With less, we become seasoned. With less we are free.
When my children question why we don't do things quite like the masses, I tell them that we are called to be different. We the Wests, we as Christians. Paul said "And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2) Are we acting differently from the rest of the world? Or do we blend in? I vow to be different.
To be continuous.....