Archive for May 1st, 2007

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Today’s scripture: Ecclesiastes 6:6-9 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

So I was listening to the Oprah & Friends station the other day on my way to Michigan, and they had a guy on who has a doctorate in “Happiness.” (Who knew?!) Anyway, he was talking about a concept called “destination addiction” and wow, did it sound familiar!

Oprah’s makeup artist came on then, and talked about how for years and years, he said he wanted a house of his own, wanted and wanted and wanted that house. He imagined the parties he and his partner would have there, and how happy they would be.

And people would tell him, oh, you have a lovely apartment, if you get a house, you’ll then want to fill it up with furniture, and then all the obligations that come with a house. And he insisted, no, I’m OK with the furniture I have, I just want a house, a lovely little house.

So finally, he got that house, and what’s the first thing that crept into his head? Oh, this house isn’t put together quite right. I need some new furniture for this wonderful new house! And once he had the furniture, and everything ‘just so’, his partner of several years, stressed out by the burdens and obligations of being a homeowner, chose to leave the relationship — and here was Oprah’s makeup artist, with the house he’d always wanted, with the furniture he thought would be beautiful in that home, all ready to have that party, and sadly alone, lonely, and wishing for his apartment and his old furniture and his old life.

Why do I tell this story? Does this mean we should just give up altogether and accept the status quo? Heck no! Goals are GOOD things to have. Can you imagine the Israelites still in slavery just kinda saying, “Well, that’s that, no use in thinking there’s something better out there.” But it does mean that we should be grateful for that “bird in the hand” and to realize the blessings we have all around us, today. Getting that new house won’t make us happier. Getting a new job or a promotion, or new furniture won’t make everything better.

Letting myself become addicted to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing, each time lying myself into believing that if I get that one thing, then everything will be better, is just that — lying.

The only thing that can make me happier is God, and me.

Even the Israelites, in their time in the narrow places, still loved each other and loved God and did what they could to make what they had the best they could make it, all the while believing in a goal greater than themselves.

So I’m going to be grateful for the bird in my hand today — and bring God into the planning and goal setting for the next steps in my life, that I may move from being addicted to the next destination, and enjoy the journey God has set out for me.

Thought for the day: Can I be grateful for what I have and where I am — or am I “destination addicted?”

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to begin, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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