Today I drove down to New Bern to spend time with my father-in-law. I made a reservation at a hotel that overlooks the Neuse River and looks out over the massive bridges that connect the land masses. As I gaze over the water to the other side where houses line the shore, I think about how wonderful it would be to own a house on the water. These thoughts take me away into a place in my mind that isn’t real.
Just yesterday, I was listening to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow and thinking about how Dorothy dreamed of a place she could escape to. Life was not good for her and particularly for her dog Toto. An angry neighbor with a terrible attitude wanted to put Toto down and Dorothy had only one solution. She ran away.
But as we know, life only got worse for Dorothy as she tried to get home. A tornado swept her up into the sky and she ended up in a foreign land. After that, all she wanted to do was go home to how life was before she ran away.
As I think of Dorothy, my thoughts gravitate towards Adam and Eve and the decision they made in Eden. Here are two people with every need met and a close relationship with God. So why did they give it all up? What made the fruit so attractive to them? How did Satan know how to seduce them away from the perfection of the lives they shared with God? Simple. Tell them there is more, something better, just over the rainbow.
And if we ask ourselves, how often do we get caught up in the land of want? In Psalm 23:1 it states, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” How hard is it to not be constantly thinking about life with more things, more vacations, and more fun? For most of it, literally impossible. But the answer is in the five previous words. “The Lord is my shepherd.” When we allow God to lead us in our own personal pasture and trust that he has given us all we need, our thoughts turn from what we want to being grateful for what we have.
So instead of thinking about the house across the river, I will focus on all my many blessings that keep being poured out and instead of being discontent with I don’t have, I will be happy with what is mine.