We were at the beach for my birthday this year. My son Hunter had looked so forward to going that he could hardly stand it. Most of what came out of his mouth for a good week before was all about when we would leave, who was going, and what we would do when we got there. So finally the day came and we were leaving. Satisfied that we were on our way, a couple of hours passed. Before we completed our trip down there, he started asking “when will we get there Mom?” and “how much farther do we have to go?” If you have children, then you are familiar with this.
We arrived in Cherry Grove late that night, so Hunter went straight to bed almost unaware that we had even arrived. The next morning, with much anticipation, “Mom would you hurry and get up so we can go down to the beach?” So shortly thereafter, off to the beach we went. Since this was in April, going “down to the beach” wasn’t quite what he’d expected. It was too cold to go swimming. He and his sister Haley had to entertain themselves with sand castles and seashell hunting. Needless to say, this only lasted about an hour. Then came the words, “Mom, I’m bored. Can we go back to the house and get cleaned up?” After this moping and begging went on for a couple more hours and every effort had been made by the adults to entertain, off to the house we went.
After getting cleaned up, as you can imagine, echoed the words, “Mom what are we going to do next?” This went on from going out to eat to playing miniature golf. All through this trip there was this theme of my son never being quite satisfied with what we were doing at the moment. I know, I can only imagine what may be going through your head, “Maybe he needed disciplining, or he was just acting like a brat….” He was given “no” for an answer a few times during the trip, and he IS a good boy. He just wanted fun, entertainment, adventure, and just the next big thing, not unlike most adults.
Finally I explained, “Hunter I need you to understand that you are making me a little bit crazy and here’s why. Every time you want something, you pretty much always get it. But then instead of enjoying the thing you had looked forward to, you can’t seem to enjoy it for wondering what we should do next. Son, I just need you to try to enjoy right where we are this minute and quit thinking about what we are going to do next. You are robbing your joy, and mine too, by not appreciating this present moment.”
Wow, as it got quiet, I knew Hunter was processing what I had said. He’s always been a bit of an “old soul,” so I knew he would take what I said seriously. Later, I began to think, that is probably how God feels with us as His children. We seem to always be looking for that next big thing, not quite satisfied with where He has us right now. Although there’s nothing wrong with planning and dreaming, God needs us to enjoy this moment. He wants us to soak up all of it, enjoy it, and learn from it. When it is time to move on to the next thing, we will be ready and equipped. Finding joy and contentment in the day to day, and sometimes seemingly mundane, is part of our worship and IS the great adventure.
1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.