Why You're Discontent Sometimes. (Me Too.)

2016-04-12-1460502685-2996841-DavidMarcuatstocksnap.jpg
photo by David Marcu

I set my alarm an hour earlier this morning. I've heard it said, "If you have to eat a frog, it's better to eat it early rather sit and look at the slimy thing all day."

For weeks, I've been struggling to write. The world is already drowning in words."What do I possibly have to add?" The question roars through my mind like a river.

Don't get me wrong; I love words. Love them like... I might have married them if my husband hadn't been so hilarious and sexy in the kitchen. God sent him to rescue me from a lone life of books and cats. Like that eccentric aunt who has always been old and never gets any older and smokes slim cigarettes from a sophisticated holder whilst petting her kitty in the parlor.

I'd used to joke with my sister-in-law, in a low, scratchy voice, about what it would be like when her kids came to visit "crazy aunt amy." We'd laugh, but I was serious. The dating pool was shallow. I was convinced I'd be in a long-term relationship with words- reading, writing, and withdrawing (except from the cats of course).

Words. Clearly, they can make me a little wacky.

I think that's how it is with things we love. They have serious say-so in our lives. Influence. Power. We tend to lend them control of our joy, our worth, our emotional well-being.

Maybe this is why God structured the 10 Commandments like God did-
(1)You shall have no other gods before me. (2)You shall not make for yourselves an idol of any kind.

Because God knows the power held by what we love. What we love takes precedence in our lives; consumes the lion's share of our time, intent, thoughts, energy, emotions and money.

The website I've built to "serve God" is a great example. I get obsessed with the vision and sometimes forget why I set out to do it in the first place. Hence, wrestling with my worthiness. Hence, my indignation as I pour love (i.e. time, intent, thoughts, energy, emotion, and money) into the work and the work doesn't love me back.

This is the takeaway today.


We can give
words
to what we love. But what do those words
equal
? Actual love isn't fruity and abstract; it's straight up quantifiable. Whether we
like
that it's quantifiable or not.

What we love is measured by what occupies the bulk of our time, intent, thoughts, energy, emotion, and money. If you want to know what you love, make a list of what fills the above.

But don't stop there. Because for most of us, this exercise turns into a guilt-fest. What we honestly love isn't appropriately reflected in how we spend our... ya know.

I don't want us to stay guilty too long. Just long enough to recognize that much of our unhappiness and discontent flows from pouring our time, intent, thoughts, energy, emotion, and money into things that just won't (and can't for that matter)... Love. Us. Back.

How do we shift?


Fortunately, the first step is straightforward.

We don't quit our jobs, give up our dreams, get lobotomies, stop exercising, join a convent or a monastery, or sell everything and live in the forest with bears and ticks. That's not what God is telling us to do. (Unless of course that is what God is telling you to do, then by all means, tally ho.)

It's much simpler than all that.

We are to think of God first in what we're already doing.


As I wrap up this post, I realize I've been putting other things 
first
the last few weeks
.
 No golden calves but sparkling screens and shiny carrots of success.

Living that way sucks. So I'm making a simple, yet significant shift- To love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. To love other people; to love me.  The rest of the words will fall where they may.

And you?
............

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article first published on The Purpose Dweller Project.