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Blogswap 2: Tough Truths

07/16/04 | by [mail] | Categories: family/personal

I'm pleased to present this blogswap post by Rong of The Requiest. You can read my post here, and you can see a list of all the participants here.

BlogSwap: Tough Truths

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat
and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during
the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot.

When Tim suggested that this current blogswap article be based on a tough truth
that we've dealt with or are still dealing with, I couldn't initially come up
with a thing. The truth however wasn't that there weren't any tough issues that
I've dealt with in the past but that I was wearing blinders to the one I'm currently
dealing with. So...this post is a personal confession on something that I've
dealt with my whole life, although I've very infrequently recognized it. Maybe
it's better to say that it's been very seldom that I've wanted to recognize
it. I also think that it is something that is extremely prevalent in our modern,
postmodern and or current society, take your pick. What I'm referring to is
satisfaction or being satisfied.

Is the grass green where you are, or is it the grass on the other side of the
hill that you are after? If I were a pastor and this were a sermon maybe the
title would be:

Finding satisfaction in what we have.


Recognizing the abundance already at hand.

I humbly and ashamedly admit, that I am almost never satisfied in what I have.
Oh I may say that I am, but that is really never the truth and I'm sure that
my wife would confirm this without any hesitation. Over the past 6 months I
have become increasingly disillusioned with my current job. I baby-sit a very
large intranet site and make sure that the CMS is working properly. Most days
I can check the system and basically be done in the first half hour of work.
Other than some minor support issues that crop up my days are long and boring.
Heck, I got into blogging to kill the boredom. Now I know that some of you are
drooling over the idea of not having to do anything all day, but believe me
it gets boring quick. Get in the Sherman and Mr. Peabody "Way Back Machine"
(for those of you under 40 this was a cartoon) and remember what summer vacation
was like come about August. Sitting with your friends out at the curb, looking
at one another and saying, "What do you want to do?" with the equal
reply of, "I don't know. What do you want to do?" Plus there is always
the worry that my development skills are getting rusty. I'd been digging around
on Monster.com and a number of other job search engines and emotionally I had
gotten to the point where I was becoming a real bear to live with at home.

This week on the way to work I found myself counting the pros to my job as
opposed to the cons.

  • Even though I have a long commute I'm going totally opposite traffic and
    I'm on back roads a lot of the way, which is much better than being on the
    Capitol Beltway.
  • I have incredible hours working only 8 hrs a day because I'm on contract
    and working 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM means I get home earlier than ever before.
  • I'm getting paid 30% more than my last job to sit around doing next to nothing.

Now I'm sure there are some of you that are thinking this is nothing more than
pop psychology and you're actually right. Even as I write I'm wondering what's
so special about any of this. Any counselor would tell you to weigh out the
pros and the cons of a situation or try and look for the silver lining in the
storm. But the point that I'm trying to make is not just about being satisfied
with what we have but actually finding happiness with it. IMHO the word "satisfaction"
has become diluted in our vocabulary and doesn't carry the weight that it rightly
should. It can sometimes sound like we're just complacently resigned to our
lot in life or a given situation and that is not what God would have us be.
Being satisfied should be like going to a banquet and being able to eat to your
hearts content. And, it's not just any old smorgasbord of standard faire. No,
this banquet, the banquet of satisfaction, has been prepared by the finest chef
in the world. Every morsel becomes a bouquet of exciting flavors that tantalize
the palate.

Now I don't know about you, but there are times in my life, like this, when
I recognize that my thoughts just don't really seem to be my own. In the past
I've contributed a lot of that "voice in my head" to the Holy Spirit
and as I've grown in my faith I more and more find that He is the voice of greater
discernment than I could ever contribute to myself. Oh I may have known these
thoughts before, but I never really heard them before, at least not in
my heart.

It was with these thought in my mind that I started to weigh all the other
things in my life that so often leave me unsatisfied. What I found on deeper
introspection was my own failure to properly see the truth.

  Instead of being satisfied that my children are healthy both physically
and mentally or instead of seeing how much they love me or how well they behave
while out in public or how devoted they are to their grandparents who live up
the street... instead of seeing any of this how often do I instead allow an
act of forgetfulness to become a monumental failure?

  Instead of seeing my wife's commitment to me or the incredible personal
sacrifices that she makes with her job or all of the additional work that she
does in managing the house, do I instead focus on some trivial issue?

 Why is it that instead of enjoying the bounty of our banquet do we so
easily allow the souffle falling to ruin the rest of a perfectly good meal?

The next time that the grass starts looking brown ask God to help you take
inventory on what you have. Find the positives and count them up before you
continue to focus on the shortcomings, failures and troubles of this life and
may you find eternal satisfaction at the banquet that Christ has prepared for

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