Recently, I was telling about my little nephew, Justin. He has one of those personalities… you know the kids that are born, drink a bottle or two and all of sudden you look at him he is wearing a ball cap, a watch and belt with his boots and jeans… he speaks, walks and talks like a grown man. Justin is that kind of kid… an “old soul” is how my Moma would have described him. At one of his birthday parties, he sat at the head of the table opening his mountain of gifts… he relishes in the attention, I might add. He opened a large bag full of tissue paper and with total delight and animation, he pulls out a Captain America shield and with all the excitement a 7 year old could muster her turned to PawPaw and said, “Oh, thank you!!! I have waited my whole life for one of these!!!” I was sitting in his room one afternoon with him (he was sitting in his recliner… I told you he is a grown man) I was sitting on the floor next to him as we watched one of his DVD’s and I noticed his Captain America shield in his toy box… I said, “There’s that cool shield, we should play with it”. He responded, “Nah”.
How many times have we longed, prayed, obsessed, waited our whole lives for something… then we get it and it ain’t nearly as fabulous as we thought? Growing up as little girls we played house. We had imaginary husbands who brought us flowers picked from the neighbor’s flower beds, our dreamboat of a husband worked a good job and drove a truck and his favorite food was M&M’s and Dr. Pepper, just like ours. We waited our whole lives to grow up and to marry the most fabulous man in the whole wide world. And then darn it, those men don’t want to eat M&M’s and Dr. Pepper for dinner every night… and as it turns out, the neighbors don’t like anyone picking their flowers!!! I have waited on what I thought would be the perfect job and prayed and begged God to grant it to me. I get this most wonderful job in the whole world and then… well, then there is the stress associated with the responsibility of the world’s best job! I have drooled over shoes in catalogs, saved my pennies and painted my toe nails the perfect shade of pink to look good in those stylish shoes… finally, buy them and wear them and I was left with 5 bleeding blisters and shoes I could not wear!
Why do we long and pray and want things so bad then when we get them, they aren’t nearly as great as we thought? I was listening to a lady at the gas station this morning telling her grandson… He isn’t appreciative. He was asking for a bottled drink and she was explaining as kindly as a grandmother can at 7:15am that he has those very same ones in the pantry. He said but they are in cans. I want a bottle.
We are the same way, we get exactly what we want but it still isn’t good enough… get a perfectly good watch, it ticks, tells time, looks stylish, but it’s silver and now I want gold. I have a perfectly good family, but I see the lady at the store with 3 little girls all dressed in ladybug dresses, matching sandals and hair bows… and I would trade in all the boys in my family for those sweet girls.
What happened to us? When did we become so unsatisfied? When was GREAT and getting exactly what we wanted not enough? I bet that is what Jesus thought… the Pharisees waited for the Messiah, he shows up and they turn their back… “Hmmph”… “Not exactly the Messiah we wanted”.
I am going to go home today and look around at things I worked hard for and dust them and appreciate them and I might even wear those shoe while I dust… I plan on doing it with socks (bleeding blisters aren’t pretty)… but I am going to be more thankful for all I have been given… I want to have an attitude of gratitude… starting now… and I want to drop by and play with Justin’s Captain America shield, too.
About The Author: Barbie Driskell (Aunt B) was raised in the shade of pine trees of East Texas. “I am very proud of my roots, just like a pine tree, may not be deep but they sure take over when left to their own devices. I smile frequently, laugh genuinely and live simply.”