September 18, 2014
Once upon a time, I fancied myself madly in love.
It was beautiful.
Innocently googling one day, and my eyes were opened to a glorious future.
Those riding boots were made for my feet.
I would never want for anything again once I had those boots.
I would be a better person in those boots.
People would say, Look at that girl in those boots!
It was true love.
Until it wasn’t.
The boots were multiple hundreds of dollars.
So we said goodbye.
And it was the end.
(But they were so beautiful.)
I have always struggled with contentment.
In junior high I wanted to be in high school. In high school I wanted to be in college. In college I wanted to be hitched. Married a few years and I wanted to have kids. Always looking forward to the next big thing.
This is all part of growing up, of course, and getting older and marrying and having babies is a tremendous joy, but those of us who dabble in discontentment will start getting fidgety no matter what. No matter when. No matter how much we already have. Because discontentment is a crummy companion. It shows up uninvited and then sticks around long past time to leave.
So what would it take for a girl like me to have enough to be satisfied? To be always joyful in my circumstances? To never be bored with life again?
The boots? A wardrobe consisting not entirely of t-shirts and jeans? A ride cooler than the minivan…which means pretty much any vehicle on the road?
Not when you’re Debbie Dissatisfied.
You can have it all and still be antsy, even while looking fabulous in your boots.
(And please don’t feel sorry for me. I already have two pairs of riding boots in the closet. It’s the nature of the beast, I tell you.)
I was reading a prayer of Moses today, recorded in Psalm 90. It’s one of my favorites, though it’s not actually a terribly happy psalm.
Moses spends much of it reflecting on how short a man’s life is. Compared to everlasting God, our span here is just a breath, a blink, a blip on the eternal radar.
So, yeah, that can be a little discouraging.
But then this man, who lived somewhere around 3500 years ago, prays a prayer so appropriate for a generation marked by depression, dissatisfaction and discontentment, he must have had us 21st-centurians in mind.
I promise you’ll be a better human being if you read it for yourself, but just in case you won’t, let me hit some highlights.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (vs. 12)
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love…” (vs. 14a)
“…establish the work of our hands for us…” (vs. 17b)
If Moses were a modern fella, he might have said it something more like this:
Life is short, Lord. Help me not to spend my days here all hung up on the little temporary details.
Life is short, Lord. Help me to be fully satisfied and content with you and your love for me.
Life is short Lord. Make this work that I do mean something for eternity, not just for now.
The subtitle of the Psalm is the kicker. It reads, “Psalm 90: A prayer of Moses the man of God.”
The man of God.
Despite being that baby in the basket on the Nile river, a prince in Egypt, the parter of the Red Sea, the leader of the Israelites, the guy who brought the Ten Commandments down from the mountaintop, for crying out loud, nothing could be said about Moses that speaks more to his character and how he used his life than those four words.
He was a man of God.
That’s what I want to be.
Not Hannah the woman of cool boots.
Not Hannah the best dressed.
Not Hannah the super-successful writer.
‘Cause that, friends, would be a waste.
I pray that I spend my days in pursuit of things that will last for eternity.
Worshipping God and not earthly things.
Caring about people and not status.
And not this:
That is my prayer.
Now, fortunately, I won’t be at my funeral, but that’s probably the only place where things about who I was and what I stood will be publicly discussed for all the world to hear.
And so, I wonder.
What will be said of me? What will be the summation of my life?
What will my subtitle be?
Yeah, it’s kinda scary to ask. But we all should.
So, friends, what’s your subtitle?
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