Today I spent time and effort searching for something. It was an important document. It was my tax return. I had found ones from previous years but needed this year’s. I file my returns online but was sure that I also printed out a summary of this year’s return. Yet I could not find it anywhere.
I had used some tax return filing software specially designed for Ministers of Religion and thought that I would have the document I needed in the backup folders. But then I realised that I had filed the return on a different computer and, not so long ago, I had removed my profile from that computer because I had not needed it. I thought I had made copies of everything and put them on an external hard drive, but when I checked it I did not have a tax return for this year.
My heart sank. It was gone. My tax return for 2014-2015 had vanished.
And then I realised something. I have not yet filed a tax return for 2014-2015 because that financial year has not finished yet! And the return I needed was for 2013-2014 and I had that in my hand.
Do you ever search for what does not exist?
So you have never looked for the perfect partner, job or house – where there is nothing wrong with it at all, it is flawless – so that you will be happy?
You have never bought a lottery ticket (or raffle ticket) or entered a competition and had a feeling that ‘this time’ you would win and life will be better?
You have never caught yourself imagining a different life where ‘the grass is greener’ and you never have any problems?
I think that part of the way that we have been designed is to seek the best, to have ambitions, hopes and dreams. I that is one of God’s fingerprints that is left on us – a desire for improvement, for progress, wanting something better. But it is not intended to be focused on ourselves, it is intended to be focused on others.
But we distort that through selfishness to become wanting to improve our life, make progress for ourselves, wanting something better for us. When we want more, better, perfect in order to make our life easier, better, happier, we find that we will be striving for what doesn’t exist and lose a sense of satisfaction.
Paradoxically those who seek to serve others often find greater satisfaction than those who seek others to serve them (my loose paraphrase of things Jesus said).
Be blessed, be a blessing