No Comparison

I don’t know about you, but for me, the advent of fall always brings with it an air of introspection into my daily life. Not that I am not prone to looking at things in depth most of the time anyway, but fall brings with it a sense of seasonal movement that is somewhat more melancholy than that mood which generally ushers in springtime.

As fall progresses we lose daylight, leaves and warmth, just to name three that happen to fit today. In the spring it is just the opposite—nobody that I know bemoans the loss of winter—and more so as one gets older. Why else would thousands of people retire to Florida each and every year if not to get away from the onslaught of old man winter.

Having said that, we have had one of the most pleasant fall seasons in many a year here in the mountains of North Carolina. It is the 3rd day of November and the sun is brightly shining and the temp out side as I write is a tolerable 57 degrees.

One aspect of life I was thinking about the other day as my wife Sandi and I took a walk after dinner was the fact that many people around us own lots of land and we don’t. We own just enough to take care of and have some nice gardens. Many of the people who own land received it by inheritance and in the overall scheme of things didn’t do anything special to get it. Culturally it seems more value is put on them than us because of what they own. I am not jealous of what they have, but rather became aware of the fact that life really is a random kind of thing when looked at in this way.

There are some people I am sure that could look at what I own and come to the same conclusion—they have less than me so what is the deal with life anyway. Why is it so uneven—so unbalanced. Joe Torre, the manager of the NY Yankees turned down a one-year $5 million dollar offer and chose to go with another team that offered him a bigger deal. And this guy manages a sports team which in the overall scheme of things is probably not all that important in a cosmic sense if you get my drift. He may be a really great guy and give a lot to charity but my best guess is that he has a great big house and owns lots of stuff but really doesn’t have a life because the yanks own him.

And now I have come to the same conclusion that the writer of the book of Proverbs came to: there are many good people just getting by and a lot of not so good people making a lot of dough.

1 Timothy 6:6 tells me that: …godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.

To own or not to own is really not the question—to be content is the goal. And we all have our moments when so and so’s new car rubs us the wrong way or our friends promotion and subsequent raise is not something we can whole heartedly rejoice in.

I do look forward to the day when I can look life straight in the eye and say that I have enjoyed it to the fullest and lack no good thing. That I have been content with what I have been given and no longer feel that I need anything else to make my life complete.

That’s a good ride.

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4 Responses to No Comparison

  1. ded says:

    Amen. Being content, I think, is a state of grace; but in order to know it, one must choose to seek contentment rather than seeking everything else to be happy.

  2. Terry Henry says:

    It is a struggle sometimes to not get caught up in the cultural mania. I remember as a child and teen having the world’s values pumped into me and they just don’t go gentle into that good night.It is even around when one thinks about what is good as opposed to what is famous. Where are “our” thoughts among all the others in blogland vying for someone to read them and or be moved by them. Even in the midst of all of this I feel there is room for us. Thanks for joining me.

  3. Carey says:

    Yes. And I appreciate the melancholy too.Melancholy in autumn is just a skip away from deep joy, whereas in the winter it becomes a challenge that must be seriously approached… like a long hill to climb… But it never fails, it we utilize it, to be productive, and the coasting down the other side provides a satisfying return on our emotional investments.btw…I like the smooth and simple lines of your new masthead photo,& also the bloom of contentment that I see in Sandi’s smile (and yours.) Yours is a strong witness. Keep up the good work.

  4. ded says:

    Oh, there is room for us. We are common voices in the land, and the land now beckons those who live off her to voice themselves to all the others in the whole world. It is an unprecendented time in history. Who will listen? That is not our job. 8^)Joining with you is to my benefit and blessing. Please do not thank me for loving you. It is what I live for in Him.

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