Written by Rachel Snyder
Over the past few years, I’ve been working really hard at contentment. I can say I’m happy without a palatial estate, a closet full of shoes, and diamonds on every finger. I mean, those are the extremes, but I’m content with what I have and with getting rid of what I don’t need. My husband and I both have determined that good stewardship is one of our family’s priorities, and we strive to make good choices emotionally, spiritually, and financially when it comes to material things.
But then there’s comparison. It creeps into my content little life and throws me for a loop. I still find myself comparing my life to my friends’ lives. And, for me, it’s really not about their homes or cars or material things. The things I covet end up being their experiences and relationships.
It’s so weird to want things that are clearly tailor-made for someone else’s life. I am genuinely happy for my friends who have become published authors, who have taken amazing trips around the world, who have best friends they’ve known since Kindergarten. But a little voice nags, “Isn’t it your turn to write something great? Isn’t it time you went on a cruise? Why don’t you have friends like that?”
I’m pretty sure I know whose voice it is. That jerk of an enemy just doesn’t know when to quit!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, NASB)
The Word of God is clear: we are easily caught up in sin, and it holds us back from what God has planned for us. Comparison is definitely one of those sins. I need to follow the course that is set for me, not the course set out for those around me. Ephesians 2 is clear that God has good works that He’s already set in place for me to accomplish. Right now, He’s got me in a season of life that mostly involves raising my children. Do I give up on my big dreams, like writing or travel? No. I just trust God knows those things are part of my heart and will include them in my future somehow. Or maybe those dreams will change over time and fall more in line with what God has for me to do. As far as relationships are concerned, I just need to pray that God puts the friends in my life that I need at every step of the way. I’ve asked for that many times, and He has yet to disappoint.
The point is that right now—in this moment—I need to make sure I am following God’s course for me, that I am centered squarely in His will and making the most of the time and gifts He’s given me. I can’t live anyone’s life but mine, and it’s futile to try.
But, you know, if a Mediterranean cruise suddenly showed up in God’s will for me, I wouldn’t turn it down. Just saying.
To read more about Rachel, click here.