How to find contentment living in the land of “More”

Day 28 of Lent, Psalm 34:

IMG_2162I did something yesterday that I have never done before. I can’t believe I missed out on it all these years, but I finally did it. However, before I go on, I want us to stop and think of something from today that was good. Where have you seen a little goodness? If you cannot find something from today, think back over the last week. What is something big or small that was good? Maybe there was goodness in a finished project, time with a friend, or in a blue sky. Somewhere there is goodness experienced.

Ok, so I went to Round Top for the first time. It is only an hour away and I had never been there before. For those of you who don’t know about Round Top, (and you may not really care to know about it), it is an antique fair on steroids. It is more like a Texas sized flea market, but with vendors from all over the country. It is a place you find treasures disguised as junk, wonderfully restored furniture, and great bargains with the bragging rights included (and much, much more!). It is amazing and fun– a decorator’s or collector’s dream!

I went with Amy, my good friend and consultant for important decorating decisions, who had been once before. We both had a mental list of things to be on the lookout for. Even though neither of us are interested in collecting a lot of “stuff,” we do like to look and see what interesting things we might discover. We are a little boring though; for we both decided we were fine if we walked away empty-handed. I know that may seem impossible for some!

More! More!

Overwhelming, packed, full and stuffed are a few other words also to describe the experience. Upon arriving, I felt lost among the acres and scads of stuff. “Where should I start and which booths should I stop at? I don’t want to miss out.” I also notice I begin to want things that I do not really need. All of a sudden, my brown dresser at homes seems blah and in need of some fresh paint. I can feel a little greedy. Lastly, in the midst of the fun, I can see hints of dissatisfaction creeping in. There is always more to see, and one more booth to venture into.

I imagine you can relate to these types of feelings, even if you have no desire to step into a place like this. We all have times and places in our life in which we are inundated with messages that imply there is “more” out there. We live in the land of “More.” The air is filled with the noise that we must do something different to attain what others have. Then we will be happier. These voices often tempt us to compare, because there does not seem to be enough. Or possibly, your friends have job offers, and you can’t even get an interview. Perhaps, everyone is getting married or is in a relationship and you wonder, “When is it my turn?”  Life seems like it would be so much better if… Then there are those who seem to be moving up quickly and have all the right stuff: the clothes, the house, the trips, and friends. This plenty makes you feel empty… and not very content.

Goodness you can taste

How can I be grounded and more content in the land of “More?” I think an answer to this Texas sized hunger for more, is found in the goodness of God. Can I taste and see that He is good each day and everyday? I need to look for and find His goodness. Psalm 34 says:

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

Relishing

When we enjoy the taste of something, we relish it and take pleasure in it.  So, what things can I relish today? Is goodness in the kiss my son gave me on the cheek after I ate lunch with him at school? Or is it in the expertise of the doctor, who gave another son four shots in his hand today and set his broken finger? Is goodness the orange flowers dotting the field behind my house, which my son collected? What can I relish? When I “taste” these things, I taste goodness right now. I don’t have to go searching for it. It is right in front of me each day and everyday.

Very unexpectedly, I did not leave Round Top empty handed. For a while, I have been keeping an eye out for a very long dining table. Some Sundays, there are about forty students over here for dinner. Other days it is a bible study or youth group here. Nevertheless, the table needed to be just the right size and price. I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled upon it, and then quickly consulted with my good friend.  This was it! I am so thankful for  the table and the three men who made a ten foot table fit into the back of Amy’s Tahoe. I know that the excitement of the new table will wear off and it will no longer be the source of the day’s contentment. Our nature easily forgets and moves on to the next thing.IMG_2126

Stop again for a moment. What was the good thing you thought of a few moments ago? How can you look for goodness today and each day in the midst of the “dailyness” of life?  We want goodness to jump in our arms and run us over. I think we often have to find goodness. We need to look for it, in the middle of the vast messages, noise and voices that surround us.

IMG_2132I am hoping I will relish in the goodness shared around the table through the years. I imagine I will hear laughter around the table.  I foresee tasting good food, shared with friends from all over the world. I hope I will see lives changed by Christ’s love. I know the table will facilitate the many conversations of college students. I hope I participate in God’s goodness and grace shared with others here.

IMG_2149The table is now a symbol of God’s goodness, not because the table is good, but because God’s goodness can be relished and found around it.  In the midst of all the stuff at Round Top, a table was plucked out. In the midst of the fullness and the messages of, “more,” we need to find God’s goodness– to taste it, and to relish it each day and every day. Now the orange flowers, God’s goodness shared by my son, sits on my new table.

God is good. Can you taste it?poppy

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