December 28, 2011

[TRUE fulfillment]

so, today I was taking my dog Chee for a walk/letting him stop every five seconds to go to the restroom and/or smell around for other dogs. Near the end of our stop and go walk, we walked in front of this house:

If you can't tell from the picture, one of the houses in our neighborhood has their Valentine's Day decorations up.. including a heart wreath.. a "Happy Valentine's Day" flag.. and pink and red flowers.. on December 28.. REALLY????? So maybe I'm overreacting, but I cannot honestly think of one single legitimate reason why one would need to put up Valentine's Day decorations when:

a. if you weren't aware, Christmas was less than 5 days ago
b. we still have New Year's to celebrate
c. we are supposed to focus on the HERE AND NOW

So maybe something really bad happened during the holiday season one year and this person doesn't feel the need to remember this OR something really good happened on Valentine's Day and they are so ready to remember that.. I don't know - that's not what I'm focusing on. I'm more concerned about what was running through this person's brain if they are rushing into Valentine's Day for no purpose other than the pure excitement of the upcoming holiday.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, July 4th, Halloween..

Obviously, holidays are great. They're worth celebrating - if they weren't, we most likely wouldn't have the holiday. BUT whatever happened to taking one thing at a time - living in the moment - celebrating the here and the now? Are we possibly moving on to the next big thing in an attempt to fill ourselves with what the previous big thing was unable to do?


At the beginning of every big season, event, whatever.. there is always such a big emphasis - a big, anxious feeling. Most of the time (in my case, at least) this emphasis is a bit too large.. okay completely over sized.

On past birthdays I've found myself getting upset over the fact that I didn't get exactly what I wanted.. REALLY, Laura? I know, I know.

One Christmas wasn't as good as the last one because it just didn't "feel" like Christmas..

This Valentine's Day wasn't as great because my date didn't plan anything spectacular..

Why do we always put so much emphasis on events, people, things, places that are bound to let us down?


I don't think I'm only speaking for myself when I say that time after time I have found myself deeply unfulfilled with the things of this world.

- Heidi Montag was unsatisfied with herself after her multiple cosmetic surgeries.. TEN, to be exact

- Billy Bob Thorton has been divorced 5 times.. Elizabeth Taylor, 7 times

- Jennifer Lopez said she wouldn't come back for another season of American Idol unless she received more than her previous season's salary of $12 million

Not even the people who Americans seems to idolize - the multi-million A-listers who literally posses ALL the material things they could ever desire - are fulfilled with what they have. That's saying something.

Could there be a reason why we keep coming back to this lack of fulfillment time and time again?

Could it be because we are placing our hope in the wrong things?

PSALM 37:4.. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

notice that God didn't tell us to delight ourselves in holidays, riches, people, or things.. In fact, he has something different to say about those..

EXODUS 20:4.. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

no - he doesn't just mean gold or wooden idols. Anything that is worshipped higher or delighted in more than the Lord is considered to be an idol.

HEBREWS 13:5.. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

This seems easy to understand AFTER I buy another shirt in the same color.. AFTER I eat my second dessert when I'm completely full.. AFTER I get all of the things on my birthday wish list

..and I'm S T I L L not content.

But why can't I understand it BEFORE I do all of those things? It would save a lot of time and money, ya know?

because I'm stubborn. I'm stuck in my own ways. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I'm empty and looking for fulfillment.

Well it's a GOOD thing my Creator already knows that about me and sent himself as my sin substitute to die on a cross so that I may overcome my sin in his victory of death.

This holiday season I have been trying (and failing many a time, as expected) to live in the here and now - to focus on JESUS and the reason for the season - to center myself on relationships and love.. while not putting too much emphasis on one single thing other than Jesus. It's a hard balancing act, I will admit - but I can honestly tell you that I've found this little high beam act WELL worth it.

C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."