By: Amy Dalke
Frozen yogurt shops are dangerous.
At least in the financial sense. And really, only if you take Luke Dalke with you.
Because I kid you not, if we don’t watch him like a hawk as he builds his massive concoction, he’ll pile a month’s salary worth of yogurt into that paper bowl.
As my Dad would say, “His eyes are bigger than his stomach.”
That kind of situation isn’t limited to frozen yogurt. In the middle of our living room on Christmas morning, Luke once again felt like he needed a little bit more.
As soon as he soaked up all the happy delight of a brand new pair of neon tennis shoes, he started counting how many presents were left under the tree.
And when every last box was ripped open, and tissue paper decorated the hardwood floor, his nagging hunger for more erupted in an audible sigh. I could tell he was fighting back the nagging question in the back of his mind,
“Is that all?”
He didn’t pitch a fit, or even vocalize his disappointment. (Luke is no poster child for selflessness by any means, but he understands, to some degree, that he is fortunate.)
Still, the expression that lingered across his face was undergirded by layers of discontentment.
Luke isn’t the only “more-chaser” in this household. I have years of experience with this pursuit myself.
Need it. Gotta have it. Give me more.
Newer. Bigger. Better. More.
As we sing along to the theme song of society.
Commercials, billboards, and advertisements work all day long to sell us happiness. If we buy their product, or sign up for their service, or purchase what they are peddling, our life will be richer, bigger, better. We will finally be satisfied. Our lives will be better…because more is always better, right?
If you buy this phone, life will be perfectly organized and efficient.
If you buy this app, working out will be easier.
If you buy this make-up, you’re face will glow with ageless beauty.
If you buy those sunglasses, you will be officially cool.
If you look like this, they will love you. (And if you eat like this, you’ll look like that.)
If you drive this luxury SUV, everyone will know you’re successful.
If you buy a bigger house, you’ll be satisfied.
If you work harder, you’ll be important.
If you wear this brand, use this brand, or drive this brand, people will think you’re more awesome.
So then life spins on a cycle of discontentment, driven by the message that more will be enough. Except that it never is. And we live with a ripple of dissatisfaction, endlessly stirred by the insatiable desire for more.
You can overload your bowl with a heaping lot of yogurt, but you’ll be hungry again in a couple of hours. You can unwrap a tree skirt full of gifts, and still be unsatisfied.
Gifts, new cars, big houses, and bowls full of yogurt aren’t evil in and of themselves. But when Stuff becomes the object of our heart’s relentless craving, we run on a path of destruction carved out by our own deceitful desires.
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” -Luke 12:15
We live in a world that persistently whispers that a little more will make everything better. So how, then, do we live out the truth? How do we live as people who believe real life isn’t found in possessions?
1) Starve the greed by counting your blessings. When you consider how much you already have, the voice of “more” fades into the background. You can’t be thankful and greedy at the same time. So choose to turn the soil of grateful thoughts instead of the greedy ones.
2) Shift your focus from your wants to another’s needs. It’s amazing how stress-free I am when my time is spent focused on loving someone else. When we pour out our lives for the sake of serving others, we don’t have time to dwell on our own lack. And there’s also that thing Jesus said about how we find our life when we give it away.
“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” -Matthew 10:39
(Funny how we find those things He said really are true.)
So next time you notice that your mind is working up a list of all the things you Just Have to Have, make a list of what you already have instead. Then go look for a way to make someone else’s life a little brighter.
And if you ever take Luke Dalke to Orange Leaf, consider yourself warned. (But please remind him that he already has more than enough.)