We live lives that are too easily pleased. Too often, we rely on possessions and money to satisfy our heart’s desire. We rely on selfish pursuits. And routinely fall into the lie that the secret to a fulfilled life is the possession of more belongings and the achievement of personal gain.
But while we are settling for the temporal pleasure of material possessions, is it possible we are missing out on something better? Is it possible we are missing things that would bring even greater satisfaction and more lasting pleasure to our lives? Could it be that we were designed for something greater than material acquisitions? And we are acting foolishly by settling for something far less than the very best?
C. S. Lewis said it like this, “Our desires are not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Since becoming minimalist and shifting my life’s focus away from possessions, I have begun to notice how much of my life was wasted chasing empty pursuits. If I wasn’t working to earn the money to buy more things, I was researching my next purchase, reading advertisements, shopping at the store, or managing the possessions already in my home. I now consider all of it time wasted that I can never get back. Time I could have spent chasing things of lasting value.
My life was lived too haphazardly. I became so involved in the day-to-day meanderings of life I was no longer able to visualize anything different. My values and pursuits were being dictated by the voices around me… not the voices within. But I have learned there is something of far greater value to be found by those who will withdraw intentionally long enough to listen.
My life was lived too selfishly. I worried about my career, my house, my paycheck, my appearances, and my glory. Little concern was offered towards the plight of others. I was too busy loving myself to love anyone else. But the size of our universe shrinks significantly when we place ourselves at the center. Instead, when we begin to love others and care for their interests rather than just our own, we begin to see our potential for joy increase dramatically.
My life was lived too focused on the wrong things. I sought to collect and compare things that can easily be measured. But there are invisible things in this universe that will bring far greater joy and satisfaction to our lives than the trinkets on sale at your local department store. Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” I have come to discover the lasting fulfillment that can be found in hope, peace, faith, love… just to name a few. And I have come to realize there is a greater joy available to those who learn to fully appreciate the value of each.
Some of the most fulfilling moments in my life have been times when the world’s system has been flipped upside-down. Seek intentional opportunities to evaluate and review the trajectory of your life. Rather than always rushing to get on top, to acquire more, or to impress others, take time to help someone else. And rather than looking at a person through the lens of worldly success, look into their heart instead – you may be surprised what you discover. It’s time to seek more. And time to realize there are greater things available to us than simply acquiring and managing a storehouse of shiny things.
Today, I wish you the very best.