16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
I heard a news clip this weekend reporting a political debate on rising gas prices; one side compared the amount of fuel production to consumption in America compared to the rest of the world while the other followed up with the size of the American GDP versus that of other countries. If there’s one thing we can link to America, it’s consumerism. A second story I heard last week reported the results of a study on the values among the Millennial generation’; here’s a quote from that story:
While “there are certainly individual exceptions” to this image of young adults, she says, “overall, the pattern is pretty clear.The trend is more of an emphasis on extrinsic values such as money, fame, and image, and less emphasis on intrinsic values such as self-acceptance, group affiliation and community.”
The state of “having” is among the top ten of American idols. The more we have, the more we want. The more we see our neighbors get, the more we think we deserve. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, angling to find something we’re lacking. Finding out what ‘it’ is initiates an insatiable desire to get it.
Paul revealed the key to happiness when he wrote these words:
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Happiness is not found in having more than the other guy. Happiness is being content with what you already have. Break the switch inside you that clicks on every time you start to feel content with your belongings, your salary, your family, yourself; whispering “you deserve better”. Kill your ‘more’ button. In the words of Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy.”