“Life could be limitless joy, if we would only take it for what it is, in the way it is given to us.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
I knew a family many years ago who had a couple of children who were, shall I say, rather greedy. Christmas was one of the worst times of years for their parents. The parents would wrap the children’s presents and put them under the tree. The children would go to the tree every day and count the presents. They would often ask, “Isn’t there more?”
As Christmas day would approach, they would open their presents one by one. The children never stopped to appreciate what they received. Instead, they would rip open one package, set the gift aside, and go for the next package. When all their gifts were opened, they would look under the tree for more. With disappointment, they would often search the family room to see if any presents were being hidden for them. They never seemed to be able to get enough and were never satisfied with what they received.
There are those who are never satisfied with their lives. God made them too fat or too skinny. God made them too tall or too short. God made them the wrong color or ethnicity. God did not give them the same academic gifts as their classmates. And on and on and on. When we feel that we have been shorted, we cannot appreciate the great gift of who we are.
Tolstoy shares with us a great secret to joy in our lives: appreciate what comes our way without expecting anything else. If each of us took what came our way with grace, our lives would be much richer. Each of us, it seems, has a bit of those children inside. We often long for more. We often expect to receive things because of who we are or what we do.
Reward should not be expected or anticipated. If we can accept what is given to us without looking for more, that, oddly enough, will bring us its own sense of completion and satisfaction.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the grace to accept what comes your way today.