Over the last couple of days I've had the thought come to mind that I do a lot of what I'll call striving. My wife and I often talk about the things we plan to do, the things we're looking forward to, the things we would do, etc. My take away is often "you should make more" or "you should find a way to provide more than you do". All of this has a condemning nature to it in my world. In a way, I start beating myself up about why we can't do those things yet. Don't get me wrong, there's some great benefit to being driven and motivated to grow and build. God put it in us from the start. He literally set us out into the world as early as Adam and said "take care of this". The unhealthy part comes in when it takes away from how content I am in the present.
At first thougt a lot of it in my head comes down to wanting what other people have. It's hard to not want some of the cool stuff you see. Again, there's really nothing inherently wrong with this, it's all about the extent to which it motivates or condemns. In reality, I'm certain what we have right now on our acreage is more than the overwhelming majority of the populace even a hundred years go. Potentially even today. But hey, air conditioning and a heated house and multiple bedrooms are must-haves, right? We have to have those. Expectations and norms change. As soon as we have something, we're used to it. Hm. This is life, though.
It makes me think of Job. The book of Job is pretty crazy. He's literally had everything stripped from him, yet he praises God for just giving him life. I have no idea where he was at in life at that point and what things were like in practicality for him. Was he just very disciplined? Was he mad? Was he truly still joyful? It seems a mix of all of it can be found. What do we take of it? God was proud of him the whole time. He knew Job would stick through it. This is a characteristic that's hard to find. Not only was he devoted in the good times, but he stayed devoted in the bad. He was ever confident where he was at in God's eyes. Very cool.
Back to ground zero. Are we going to be any happier if the things we're striving for come? Not likely. There are certain conveniences that would be nice, but for the most part we'll be used to the changes in a short time and be back to striving for the next thing. It really comes down to the things that will stick with us. Relationships, family, and craft are some at the top of my intellectual list if you would ask me. Do I carry this out in my day-to-day? Nope. I don't have many friends. I'm an introvert by nature, so it's much easier for me to hole up and enjoy a night in. I put a ton of mental energy into how to make the next move in business. Much more time than it deserves is put into this.
So what to do. The biggest thing for me is remembering where I'm at. Remembering what I'm shooting for, and being willing to dig in a get after exactly those things. Much easier said than done, but very much worth persuing.