“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
Growing up, this phrase was burned into my mind by my parents. Being the youngest of three children, I always wanted what my older brother or sister had instead of what I received. It didn’t matter if we all were given the same model of Hot Wheels car, I wanted the green one my brother got, not my blue one. The green car was better; my blue Hot Wheels car wasn’t good enough.
Even as a child, I was on the “pursuit for more”. Whitney George addresses this idea in his SALT16 session Perfect Isn’t Perfect. He explains that this pursuit is only human; it’s a natural urge. There’s a better phone than the one you have that works perfectly fine. You love the new pair of sunglasses you just bought, but there’s this other pair you saw yesterday at Sunglass Hut that really caught your eye.
There’s always more.
More for you, more for your family, more for your church. If you only had a larger budget, if you only had better equipment, if you only had more volunteers. But even when we arrive at our definition of “enough”, or our idea of perfect circumstances, it still won’t be perfect.
A perfect situation doesn’t exist, because we are imperfect.
Whitney George draws his example of the “pursuit for more” from the story of Adam and Eve. God gave them the perfect setup: vast, beautiful trees, an all-you-can-eat buffet of fruit; it was a perfect world, but it still wasn’t enough. God’s only catch in the midst of perfect circumstances was that they could not eat fruit from one particular tree, but they disobeyed Him because they wanted more than what they were given. When you obtain what you want, you still want more. Enough is never enough.
I can often hear my mom’s voice ringing in my ears reminding me to be grateful for what I have. As Whitney George talks about in his class, there is a constant tug-of-war that all people deal with of wanting more and being thankful. We struggle to just be content with what we have in our lives. He explains contentment as “rest in what God has already done”. Thankfulness for the circumstances in which God has placed you is key to being content.
This attitude is encapsulated in this quote by C.S. Lewis:
“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been born in God’s thought, and then made by God is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.
This is a prayer of contentment.”
To hear Whitney George’s 3 practices of wrestling the tension around the “pursuit for more”, subscribe to the SALT University Basic (Free) membership and watch the full video.