Friday, January 9, 2009

Want in one hand.....

Chapter 4 in Traveling Light is jam packed with information on how to be content. We are talking about the part of the Psalm, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." Max has many examples to open our eyes to how much we find ourselves not content. I like the way he tells us that, “Your stuff isn’t yours and it’s not you.” Contentment will not come if we define ourselves by our stuff. Max gives several helpful bible verses to look up for reminders that God looks at our heart. The funeral director story makes a good point that we will take nothing with us but what is in our heart.

And another good Max quote, “What I have in God is greater than what I don’t have in life.” Take a moment and ponder Max’s fill in the blank question, “I will be happy when ____________.” To go a little further fill in your own words, fill in the blank and see if it rings a bell, “We will be okay when _________.”, “Everything will be fine when ____________” and “If this _________ could just come through for us.” I like Max’s response to these statements “If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm. You have everything you need.”

As I read through this chapter the second time, an old crude saying came to mind. “Want in one hand and poop in the other and see which fills up faster.” So I challenge you to change that saying a little, “Want in one hand and place your blessings in the other and see which fills up faster.” Make a list of all your wants and a list of all your blessings and ponder a moment. Which one is longer? Do your wants even compare to the blessings you have already received? I know my blessings far exceed the wants. Now I just need to remember that list more often as I feel the familiar stressful thoughts come about, “If I could just….”

There is so much to think about in this chapter alone. I will end with a question from after my favorite story in this chapter by Russ Blowers, a preacher, who explains his profession at a convention. Go back and read his description again on page 33 and think about the question Max gives us right after it, “If you can say the same, don’t you have reason to be content?”

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Christy and Gregory said...

I just finished with this chapter.(I'm late!!) Wow, what a way to start off the book. Right now, I'm definitely living in the "We will be okay when ___________happens". Every day, I've been focusing on what we need to happen to be "okay". I overlook all of the blessings and all of the signs that God is saying "you ARE okay. I am here and you have ME in your life". Thanks for the suggestion of the list, Amber it really made me see things differently.

abookjunkie said...

No problem! You are not the only one not very far along in the book! :) I definitly use the saying as well... if this could just happen. Making a list helps put things in perspective although I am still trying to get that sentence out of my vocabulary. :) Glad you are reading along with us Christy!