Thursday, November 13

Inquietude

Discontentment is defined as a restless longing for better circumstances...inquietude or a craving for something one does not have.

Over the last year I have been thinking about a conversation I had with my Aunt and Uncle in Florida last Christmas where my uncle Paul was recounting how Christmas was for him, my Dad and my Uncle Chuck as children. He said that he and his brothers were elated if they received even one toy for Christmas as money was so tight during that time. If they did get a toy for Christmas, they delighted in that one thing and felt a deep sense of gratitude for that gift.

I compare this mindset of contentedness and gratitude to the way things are today. It saddens me to see the way we feel such entitlement to the latest, greatest toys, gadgets, and other material things that we believe will make us happy. Once the luster wears off, we are left with the reality that those things only leave us wanting more. The more we have, the more we want. The more we get, the more we become dissatisfied with the amount of junk we have, so we feel the need to “simplify.” No doubt people are making a small fortune owning businesses like “Got Junk” where people will come right to your home in their blue trucks and haul away the very junk you didn't think you could live without just last year.

I wonder what it would look like to have a heart fully content that could be excited over just one gift. During this time of year, I tend to be far from that picture.

I wish I could have been an observer during a typical Christmas celebration at my Dad's house while he was growing up. I can just imagine the suspense and anticipation of three little boys waiting to see if they were even going to get something for Christmas. Once they were delighted with that one thing, I can imagine the fun they must have had really enjoying that toy instead of looking for others, or being disgruntled because they didn't get every single gift they wanted. I have never seen the word inquietude before until I looked up the definition of discontentment. The opposite must be “quietude” which bares a resemblance to gratitude and reminds me of this picture of delight with what we have been given to enjoy.

The average American makes over 100 times what people make in other countries, but I wonder if we consider ourselves truly blessed? Can we say that we have the gifts of quietude, gratitude and a heart that is at rest with what we have or do not have for that matter? During this season, I have tried to reflect on these familiar words. “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.” (Psalm 23)

1 comment:

Brent -BK said...

Very nice thoughts.. We know we need to look elsewhere for our fulfillment - to Christ! Meanwhile, here in our current situation we have had a wonderful time sharing with friends lately, getting to know the community we are in..

Maui

Maui
flower

Memories

Italy trip

I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!