What if Enough Were . . . Enough?
I listened to John Ortberg’s When the Game Is Over It All Goes Back in the Box on CD last week. And I was captured by a section in which he talked about how much of our lives are spent in the pursuit of MORE. More money, more time, more stuff, more prestige, more power. What do you want? More __________.
Which got me thinking about what I want more of. And then I started thinking about what would happen if I didn’t want any more. Because most of the more I want is more I don’t need. What, I wondered, would happen if I were content with just this?
Because this is pretty great.
At first, the idea seemed hugely inviting. Stop striving, stop stretching, stop reaching with fingers grasping for that little bit more that won’t make me any happier than I already am (at least not for long). But as I followed that idea a little farther, I began to realize that it would be pretty boring. Just being appreciative seems a little . . . dry.
So what’s the problem? If the thrill of more quickly wears off and the status quo is boring, then what?!?
Clearly, there’s a measure of satisfaction in working hard and achieving goals. I think the problem is that all too often I strive for more of the wrong things. More time and freedom to do as I please. More money to make me more comfortable. More power to get my own way. More stuff to entertain me.
What if I simply worked for more . . . God? More time and freedom to serve others. More money to help those in need. More power to turn others toward Christ. More of the stuff that makes life worth living–joy, peace, faith, kindness, love.
Frankly, I’m afraid it’s easier to work for more of that earthly stuff. I can measure my bank account so much more easily than I can the amount of joy I share with others. I can more readily gauge my boss’ satisfaction with my work than I can quantify how well I listened to the Holy Spirit today.
But it’s a trap. It’s the easy way out. I think God designed us to want more–only it’s more of HIM and so often we just settle for more. It’s like C.S. Lewis’ example of a child content to make mud pies because he has no notion of what a holiday at the beach is.
I suspect there’s more to more than we can even imagine. We just have to turn our hearts and hands to working at the right sort of more. The New Year is right around the corner. Seems like a fine time to decide what I really want more of–hope, love, the Holy Spirit–and then seek it with all I’ve got.
Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. -Oscar Wilde