We’re obsessed as a nation and as a people with the idea that there’s more to life than what we have and we feel we cannot be satisfied with what we have until we’ve had more; that there’s a dissatisfaction with the concept of destiny, or a path that’s already been written for us, and we fight against it, thinking that we’re missing out on something else. I am as human as you are, and I too feel at times like there is something in life that I am missing out on. However, in my heart of hearts, I know that I am who I am supposed to be, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, and nothing can change what’s going to happen to me next anymore than I can predict it.
I find great comfort and peace in the idea that my life, from beginning to end, has been written out for me and that I’m along for the ride. Like a roller coaster (which we can choose to ride or not, unlike being born,) we can either kick and scream and live fearfully throughout the entire ride, or we can smile in excitement at every twist and turn, bump and bang, knowing that eventually the ride will settle. The funny thing about a roller coaster is that the track never changes, and if you find that the ride is too terrifying, and you don’t get off, you’ll be going around for another. But regarding life’s events, do I have a choice in the matter? Well, sort of.
The idea that we have a choice in what happens to us doesn’t fit very well into my life. In fact, to say that we have any control over what happens to us, seems incomprehensible to me. I am far more apt to ask the question “why me” after something adverse happens to me that is out of my control. But why would I want to live in that state? Why would I want to hold so tightly to the idea that I’m in control of what happens if it leads to me being angry about what hasn’t happened yet?
The very fact that I imply that some things are out of my control and some things are within my control seems to negate the idea that we have no choice. Let me clarify.
I believe I can choose. I believe that I can choose to act on a calling in my life. I believe that I can choose to respond to something that happens to me. I also believe that when I look at my life as though there’s more available than I am getting out of it, that I’m dissatisfied with what I have, then I am failing to appreciate what I have, and begin to subscribe to the Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda in life.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ ”
I understand that you may not believe what the Bible reads. I do believe it, completely, as off the wall odd as it may seem to some of you, and it is my toolbox to handle any life-task at hand.
If I look at life in the shoulda, coulda, woulda way, I most likely experience overwhelming debt, selfishness, and dissatisfaction. But, when I let go of controlling my destiny, when I let go of the idea that I have control over the uncontrolled, I can use my ability to choose for better things like reacting in a healthy way to what I cannot control, and I believe I become more apt to give, and no matter how much money I have, or make, or how many things I accumulate, if I cannot give to the world something of value greater than money, then I have not lived.
So Is There Really Something More?
Yes, I trust there is, but I can’t tell you where to go to get it because it comes from a place that exists outside of this world, and I’m not attempting to draft you into a new comet-chasing cult. I believe that very thing that we yearn for deep down inside is God. I think we all have a God-shaped hole in our heart that we seek to fill with things that are temporary. Sure, we’re temporary in body, but what about our spirit? What about our Soul? How can one reconcile the concept of nothing after death? There is something so much more in my life that keeps me looking forward instead of looking back, that lifts me up from the ashes and draws me towards Glory. That thing is the peace that transcends all of my own worldly understanding, which I cannot explain, that leads me to do as much of what’s good as my bones can manage before falling again to the inevitable sin that comes from inside of me. There is something more, and I have it now. It’s not something I need to go looking for.
“You broke the bonds, and loosed the chains, carried the cross, of all my shame…
…but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” – U2
In a spiritual sense, I have found everything I am looking for, but my conscious existence, my flesh on this planet still cries out for more. And thus I move forward without the shame of the past.