Lately I’ve been finding myself fantasizing about living someone else’s life.
Pretty scandalous, huh?
Dreaming of being another woman, with a different husband, and a different child, living in a different house.
So okay. It’s still me. Still Doc. Still Rosebud.
…Just another life, further down the road. Our life, but different.
Our future life.
A life where Doc is in his residency–moving up from slavery to indentured servitude.
A life where I am graduated and working, instead of studying and working and trying to finish finals and a thesis.
A life where Rosebud knows how to sit still–okay, so that one’s a wash, but still.
A life where we have more than one bathroom.
In this season, I keep focusing on one day instead of today.
One day, we’ll be settled.
One day, we’ll have more in savings and be comfortable.
One day, we’ll have a bigger house.
One day, I won’t be terrified when I wake up and hear Rose laughing maniacally and wonder what destruction she created.
“Life will be so much easier, when….It will be so much better, when.”
I’ve been thinking about this whole “the grass is always greener on the other side” deal. I used to think it only applied in situations where we were jealously coveting the life someone else is living.
But now I think maybe the “other side” is over the hill from the struggle we’re wading through.
What happens when the life you’re jealously coveting is your own?
And in the end, what is more dangerous to our hearts?
‘I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation.’ -Philippians 4: 11-12
You should’ve learned by now that I’m
a little bit a lotta bit high strung.
I don’t relax easily. I don’t “Just Keep Calm And….Whatever.” I don’t do still and I don’t do content.
And I think that’s exactly why Paul’s words touch me so deeply.
I physically yearn for the peace that contentedness brings.
I desperately desire to calm my spirit. I yearn to “be still and know.”
But it feels impossible.
Contentedness seems to go against my very nature and every basic instinct that I have.
If life is running smoothly, and I have nothing to worry about–I will literally invent things to worry about.
I will use my over-reactive, way-too-imaginitive, constantly whirring brain to think up new ways that something, ANYTHING can go wrong.
Because I’m crazy.
Because when life is happening, and the unexpected can pop its head in at any time and ruin the perfectly timed, perfectly choreographed ORGANIZED PLAN THAT I HAVE SPENT DAYS CREATING!!!!!…..
Well. Then peace seems simply out of my reach.
But that Paul guy. That Paul.
He has “learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” In need. In plenty.
He’s learned the secret. COME ON PAUL. TELL ME THE SECRET, PAUL.
Oh wait. There’s more?
‘I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:13
One of the most familiar verses in all the Bible. But also: the most understated.
The secret to being content is to quit trying so damn hard to get somewhere.
Because you can’t.
You can’t find peace when you don’t tap the Source. Instead you’re going off on a blind hunt.
To find my peace. To achieve my contentedness, quit seeking contentedness, and instead seek the One from which the strength to be at peace is derived.
I used to think that “content” was the easy way out. I actually felt sorry for those people.
I thought that waking up every morning and pushing for more and getting more was the way it is supposed to work.
Because that’s what the world told me.
But then I realized: peace is hard, people. And it doesn’t come gift wrapped on your front stoop.
It’s a journey and a process, and it takes lots of hard lessons–in need and in plenty.
But it’s worth it.
Because living life dreaming of the other side makes me blind to the opportunities and the riches I have in front of me.
Even if that treasure sometimes smells funny and has applesauce in her hair. Or he forgets to put the seat down.
So go enjoy your own treasure, people. And quit worrying about how you can increase them or shine them up.
Be still, and I’ll try, too.
Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.