Grasping After The Wind

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind (Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT)
It is much better to dwell on what you have rather than on what you don’t have.  Doing otherwise can launch us into a life-long journey of trying to grasp something you can never obtain.
The famous commentator Matthew Henry once said, “People who are always content even if they have very little are much happier than people who are always craving more even if they have much.”  Dreams can be powerful things.  God often gives them to people, and they are strong motivations, but we must make sure they are from God and not just from our own imagination.  Dwelling on what we don’t have is a recipe for frustration and discontentment.  God often gives us more, but it is usually never enough when fixated on what we lack.  A very wealthy man once replied, “just a little more,” when asked how much money is enough.

So what is the solution?  Should we all take a vow of poverty?  We have tried that in Chrysostom, and it works for some but not for all.  We usually exchange one craving for other, giving up earthly pleasures but replacing them with striving after personal piety.  We are just substituting one fleshly pursuit with another.  The solution, as the writer of Ecclesiastes, tells us is to seek satisfaction from the reality of what we have, not the fantasy of what we don’t possess.  Finding fulfillment in anything but God is like pursuing a mirage. It looks good from a distance but when you get there it’s gone, and you find yourself grasping after the wind.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing

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