—Russell Baker, New York Times, February 6, 1988
I've been pondering what I've learned about the things in my heart from my dream.
contentment and coveting
They really are two sides of a coin. I didn't see it at first, even though it seems obvious. The Lord wants me to be content. The reason that I am not is because I'm coveting. I asked myself what it is that I really want and I began to realize that I want it all!
If you know me in my everyday life you probably wouldn't guess that about me. You would think I am not in want of anything. (or maybe I don't hide it as well as I think) This is because I never articulate these longings.........they are all in my head or my heart......swimming around. They are expecations that I am subconsciously striving toward.
So I thought I would make a list and get them out once and for all. This makes me feel sooooooo painfully vulnerable. But here goes:
- I WANT an impeccably clean and organized home.
- I WANT a bigger home in a more prestigious neighborhood.
- I WANT a better and more physically fit body.
- I WANT to be valued and recognized in all my roles (wife, mother, employee, bible study leader, etc).
- I WANT everyone to like me.
Now on a conscious level I am very aware how blessed I truly am. The Lord has actually given me the desires of my heart! I have a wonderful and handsome husband, two lovely girls, and lots of quality relationships, a really nice home in a great neighborhood, a housecleaner, and a great job in my own home. Life is not without it's tensions but generally, it's pretty good.
However, on a deeper level, I have set some standards and expectations for myself and at any given time I am responding to the fact that I am not meeting those standards.
When others aren't helping me to accomplish my goals I get resentful and critical.
When I am not meeting my standards, I get angry at myself.
I am in a constant state of striving.
I get anxious and hurt when I don't get the recognition or attention that I feel I'm entitled to.
Oh, this is sooooo cleansing. When I lay it out like this it seems so silly. It's okay to have goals - but ones that are doable and I don't have to get harry if it doesn't happen. And it's okay to enjoy the fruits of my labour and the blessings of God without setting my heart upon the things of this world....without wanting more. I desire to live in a state of gratitude not striving!
I can actully see these WANTS piled up on a big barge which I am shoving off to sea. The barge is floating farther and farther away and I'm feeling more and more detached from it........weightless.....peaceful.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.........