Such a sense of world-weariness can wear away at our well being and affect our relationships with other people as well as with God. Sometimes, having more is part of the problem rather than the solution. It is perhaps no coincidence that depression is being diagnosed at an alarming rate in America, which is one of the richest countries in the world–even the poorest Americans often have more than those who are considered wealthy in other nations. Clearly, having more is not the key to living the good life!
The early church father Augustine of Hippo was infamous for his wild youth, which he spent pursuing happiness in various worldly ventures. Yet he ultimately came to the conclusion that satisfaction cannot be found in any of these, nor in any worldly philosophies. In a line from his Confessions that has become famous, he admitted to God, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You”. When Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b), He was talking ultimately about eternal life. Certainly, we find peace even amid hardship because of the assurance of the eternal life we will experience after this earthly life. Yet when we approach all of life through the perspective of the Gospel, we will have life to the full in another way–our happiness and sense of fulfillment will not be eroded by the constant need to get more in the form of worldly possessions and goods. Rather, we can enjoy Gods good gifts of creation as blessings that can contribute to rather than control our happiness. No matter what is (or isn’t!) in your wallet, no matter how big your nose or small your chin, no matter if the world never appreciates your musical talent, you can live your life to the full as what you were designed to be: God’s dearly loved child.
We pray: Lord, thank you for the many good blessings I enjoy in my life. I confess that it is all too easy to become distracted by them and to focus on getting more of them instead of more of a relationship with You and other people. This can sometimes lead me to feeling discontented and even depressed. Remind me at such times that it is in You that I can find the fullness of life, the good life. Thank you, Lord, for the promise of eternal life–of the good life with you, forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.