Missing Out

August 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm (Devotional) (, , , , , , , )

At first glance, my dog Faith appears to be the most A.D.D. dog that ever was. She runs from person to person, staying only a few moments before something else catches her attention and she rushes to the next room to get the scoop on what people are doing there.

I can never keep her attention for more that a few moments before she starts to look restless, with her eyes straying to another room, where invariably, there is some type of activity occurring.

Recently, I saw her napping with my father one Saturday afternoon. Well, rather he was napping; she was lying next to him with a tortured expression on her face. There was activity in other parts of the house and she could hear it – she simply could not slip out of her current situation to investigate it.

Before I lose you on the perennial habits of my compulsive dog, I’ll get to the point. One day while watching her bounce from person to person, I realized that she is terrified of missing out on something. You may be thinking that this revelation is not revolutionary at all; you deduced it from the first paragraph. This may be true, but I plan to take this conclusion regarding my crazy dog further and contend that in some respects, she perfectly represents the human condition.The more I open my eyes, the more I see nonsensical human traits in the creation around me. My dog can never develop true affection; she never remains long enough to do so (without the coercion of treats). She may keep one eye on you, but she is always looking and listening for the better opportunity that she may be missing by wasting her time with the likes of you. The moment she convinces herself that there is something glorious occurring in the other room that she might be able to partake in if only she was present, she’s gone.

Aren’t we the same way? Never truly content with our present situation in life, but always looking around, certain that somewhere just beyond our reach there is something magnificent that we could be a part of if only we were present.

Maybe it’s just me. Am I the only one that regardless of where I am or what I’m doing has an ear listening and an eye searching, for a better opportunity than the one before me?

In one sense, that can be a good thing. It can keep us from stagnating and is certainly a very natural act, which most of us take part in without realizing we are evening doing it. But it becomes an unhealthy act when it stirs in us a certain type of discontentment.

I know this type of discontentment, for I’ve changed my life situation many times and in every case after the dust settles, I am faced with the same discontentment that I had in my previous situation. The problem isn’t where I am in my life – the problem is me. Learning to have joy and peace in uncontrollable life circumstances would bring change in us that is unfathomable. We would stop finding our comfort and meaning (or discomfort and meaninglessness!) in our surroundings and start finding it in a place more real than the physical world around us. We would find it in Christ.

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment.” – 1 Timothy 6:6

Take a Mental Note:

We are in the time and place of God’s choosing so that we might draw near to Him. Even if it seems like an unpleasant place, at this moment where you are in life is the very place that God is calling you to come close to Himself. That alone makes it a beautiful place. I remind myself of this daily and it encourages me to seek Him now, so that when He does change my situation, I am ready, for I am not looking to the change as my salvation, but to Him.

“‘And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ”In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we are indeed his offspring.”’” – Acts 17:26-28

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4 Comments

  1. willeymac said,

    Amanda, first of all thanks for the comment on my blog; thanks for taking the time to read.

    It is funny reading this entry that I am in a similar state right now. I just finished college (B.A. in Theology and Humanities) and I was hoping to go to seminary in the Spring. Well, I have not been able to find work, it is kind of depressing. However, God is teaching me dependence and trust on Him as always…lessons I find hard to get. But my friends are getting these amazing opportunities (leaving the country, working on a political campaign, etc) and i am stuck in hick Athens, AL (I am from Tidewater Virginia and my parents moved here from there) not doing squat.

    But this is obviously where God wants me so, instead of acting like a toddler…I guess I need to be patient, eh?

    • Amanda said,

      It’s a strange point in life when it feels like everything is a possibility and nothing is a possibility. I know the feeling well. Perhaps you are in a time of training in the desert. I think of Moses and David when I get discouraged. Great men of God, incredible leaders – they both spent a substantial amount of time alone in the desert. Moses hung out tending sheep for FORTY YEARS! That is one long preparation period. But look how God used him. Pray during your time of patience and seek intimacy with Jesus so you are ready when the Lord calls you to front-line action.
      What seminary are you considering?

  2. jenny freeman (murphy) said,

    amanda!

    i hope you dont mind, but I passed this post onto the women in my home group at church.. : ) i found it to be insightful and true and encouraging ! miss you friend!

    • Amanda said,

      Hey Jenny!

      Mind?!? I’m blessed that you were blessed and wanted to pass it along. Thank you for the compliment. I’m trying to work on my writing a bit. We’ll see how it progresses.

      You know, we don’t live that far from one another. I’m sure we could work out a time to hang out. I’ll fb you my #. Much love! =)

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