Thursday, January 9, 2014

We Always Want What We Can't Have

We're in the middle of a cold spell in the Northeast. Our kitchen sink pipes froze despite our leaving the faucet dripping (the hot water pipe froze; we left the cold water dripping). Brian's car won't start. The office trailer where I work was 41 degrees yesterday, because we turn the heat way down overnight and it just couldn't catch up. I had to go home; it was too cold to work. I left it at 55 degrees when I left, and today it's 48 degrees. It seems that it's just too hard to get to even 50 degrees when it's 10 degrees outside. I will be leaving early again. It's just too cold to work (but not to blog, apparently). In case you're wondering about frozen pipes here in the office trailer, no need. We have no water. The port-a-potty water is even frozen.

Trailers are cold-blooded animals. They take on the temperature of their surroundings. It was only seven months ago that I was trying  not to complain about the intense heat we were having. We had an out of the ordinary heat wave in May where temperatures skyrocketed into the high 90s, maybe even 100. I remember looking at the thermostat and watching it creep higher and higher (we didn't yet have air conditioning). It peaked at 91 inside the trailer. I'll take some of that now! 

Isn't it funny how we always want what we don't or can't have? It's 41 degrees and I'm reminiscing and almost longing for 91 degrees. But when it's 91 degrees, I'll be sweating and reminiscing about when it was 41 degrees and I'll say, "I'll take some of that now!"

People with curly hair want hair that is controllable. Straight-haired people want hair with body. Brown-haired people want blond hair and towheads want black hair. Short people long to reach those top shelves, and tall people are always slouching to appear smaller. Single people wish they had a spouse. Married people with they didn't. Childless couples with they had children. When the children come, they wish they had some time to themselves. 

Women are forever changing the color and texture of their hair. Short people can wear heels, but tall people...well, there's only so much slouching you can do before your back starts to hurt. People get married...and divorced for the wrong reasons, or often just get comfortable and take their spouse for granted. Children are often looked at as being a burden instead of a blessing. We want what we don't have!

And what about material things? We want a bigger house. We get the bigger house and complain that it's too much to clean. Or the fact that the taxes are too high. So we downsize and complain that there's not enough room for all our stuff. Stuff that we had to have simply because we didn't have it before and felt that we "needed" it. Or we move somewhere with lower taxes and complain that we're out in the middle of nowhere. We want what we don't have!

I'm not a blogger guru; I'm just me. So I don't have the answer to the secret of happiness except what I've learned, which is this: Happiness doesn't come from getting what we want. Much of the time, we get what we thought we wanted and we're still not happy. If anything, we become more despondent. Why didn't that make me happy?

Happiness comes from being content. And contentment comes from knowing that God knows what's best for me. Wikipedia defines contentment as "the acknowledgment and satisfaction of reaching capacity." Only when I acknowledge that this is the place for me right now, that I've somehow "reached capacity" on this certain thing, can I be content. I must be satisfied. The reason, I believe that we always want, want, want is because we are not satisfied with what we have, what we've been given. 

I am satisfied with my God. With my lot in life. With where he has placed me in my home, my work, my time and my space. I acknowledge that God is in control of my life and my needs. When I relinquish control of my wants to God, I find that I can be content much easier than if I keep trying to satisfy that want. I may want it, but it may not be the best thing for me. 

Right now, I really want to be warm. The temperature of this exo-skeletal, cold-blooded trailer is only 50 degrees. Truthfully, I'm really not content. But I don't think my boss or my God really wants me to work in the cold. It's no one's fault except the trailer's. It's just really cold. But it won't last forever. It will warm up in a few days. Until then, I am content to go home.

Blessings Along the Path,

Video of the Day (and you thought it was cold here!)
Coldest Place on Earth

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