Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
My niece is easily the cutest ever. This isn't an opinion. It's a fact. I'm her uncle. I would know. She's two. She's the source of endless amusement... perhaps more for me and my wife than my sister and her husband. I get frequent texts with her latest antics captured on video. This week, I got an adorable video from the Goodwill. My niece was in a shopping cart. She was clutching an enormous rubber ducky around the neck, a duck nearly as big as her. She was pleading with every fiber of her little body over and over, "I wannnnnnnnnt it."
Her mother and I found this hysterical - though we disagreed on the necessity of buying this duck. However, as funny as we both found this childish attachment and begging, I couldn't help but think that it's not unique to toddlers. I work primarily with teenagers. But it doesn't stop with them. Adults? We want absurd things too. I sat in front of a woman at a middle school volleyball game last night who could not stop berating the referee or the young girls, and at one point, me for turning to look at her in bewilderment. Based on her comments, she expects her daughter to make the Olympic team one day. Based on my observations, this is an unrealistic goal. But then I found myself driving home and debating buying a late-night burger or shake, something I did not need, but I did want.
How often do we cling to our own rubber duckies? Giant, absurd, impractical, unnecessary, only-a-good-idea-in-the-moment wants that we can't let go of... pleading with our heavenly parent to say yes and clutter up our life with our wants? Simply being realistic isn't the solution. We are all too good at rationalizing for that. It's been said there are two ways to get what you want... acquire more... or want less. Mr. Rogers says that appreciation, gratitude is a holy act. This week, and this weekend, take a moment to ask yourself if what you want most is what you need, and then if what you have is wonderful... and when is the last time you gave thanks for those things, those people? I believe God tells us to give thanks because grateful hearts want less. And maybe your uncle will buy you a rubber duck for Christmas anyway.