Happy Thanksgiving. Here’s a quick thought exercise. Ask yourself this question:
With whom would you trade your life?
Is there someone you know – or think you know – whose life seems to be significantly better than yours, such that if you were to switch places, you would be happier and more content than you currently are?
From time to time, I have engaged in this thought exercise. On the surface level, there are those who have more money, nicer homes, better vehicles…you name it.
Here’s the problem. Anytime you get below the surface level, you realize how broken everyone’s life is. The supermodel has body image issues. The billionaire isn’t content. The professional athlete battles depression or anxiety or physical pain issues. Your neighbor might not have the same life behind closed doors as he does in the driveway. The “model family” at church might be a mess away from it. And the avid social media poster might be desperately grasping at a life of significance.
I can only share my experience as a pastor who gets to see and share in peoples’ brokenness on a regular basis; so I realize my evidence is anecdotal. But based on my anecdotal evidence, here is my advice:
Don’t trade your life.
I can’t think of a single person in this world with whom I would trade my life. Does that mean I have no problems, no worries, no fears, doubts, anxieties, or struggles? No, it most definitely does not, though I think sometimes others think this is true of me.
My life isn’t perfect (nor am I), but I truly love the life I have. I’m going to add to my piece of advice:
Don’t trade your life; lose it.
That’s what Jesus tells us to do. Lose your entitlement, your feelings of victimhood, your discontentment, and your regret. Instead, remember this:
You are who you are and where you are for a reason, one which is unique within the scope of humankind and eternity.
No one else gets to live your life, nor do you get to live anyone else’s life.
And that’s a good thing!
This is a good thought exercise for Thanksgiving.
God gave you the life you have; now go live it!