small stuff in life p.II

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It’s funny how God chooses to talk to us sometimes.

***

One day, out of the blue, I received an email from an old classmate. It sparked off a short update email from her about what she has been up to. I got her email last night and what caught my attention was: I moved to London in 2004 and I got married last year.

I’m not sure what are the exact emotions that hit me. Happiness (for her), and possibly jealousy (of her). Yes, jealousy. It was the life I wanted. Move out of this country, get a job in a foreign land that is filled with arts and culture. Settle down with my prince charming. God forbid that I should be grumbling right now for all the good things He has already given me but oh I am. I guess we’re never fully satisfied with whatever we have at the present moment and we always have our eyes on what we haven’t got (yet).

I said a little prayer. God assured me He has His own plans for me. I picked up the small stuff book I mentioned earlier when I feel I need a little bit of inspiration to move on, and hey, this bite really spoke that message loud and clear:

54. Understand the Statement, “Wherever you go, There you are”

This is the title of a super book by Jon Kabat-Zinn. As the title suggests, wherever you go, you take yourself with you! The significance of this statement is that it can teach you to stop constantly wishing you were somewhere else. We tend to believe that if we were somewhere else – on vacation, with another partner, in a different career, a different home, a different circumstance – somehow we would be happier and more content. We wouldn’t!

The truth is, if you have destructive mental habits – if you get annoyed and bothered easily, if you feel angry and frustrated a great deal of the time, or if you’re constantly wishing things were different, these identical tendencies will follow you, wherever you go. And the reverse is also true. If you are a generally happy person who rarely gets annoyed and bothered, then you can move from place to place, from person to person, with very little negative impact.

Someone once asked me, “What are the people like in California?” I asked him, “What are the people like in your home state?” He replied, “Selfish and greedy.” I told him that he would probably find the people in California to be selfish and greedy.

Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realisation that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way round. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that “Wherever you go, there you are.”

***

I love how God speaks through books, through people. And I love how easy it is to read some books knowing that God is right there. Love you, good Father.

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4 thoughts on “small stuff in life p.II

  1. Greetings. This is so true. It’s also interesting in that when I was in high school, (way back in the 1980s) we had a teacher who used to always say “wherever you go, that’s where you are.”

    This is something that I have had to learn in greater detail as of late. To be content with where I am and not “wish” for different circumstances. The Lord knows exactly what he’s doing and he knows where we need to be.

    Truly our joy is in the Lord Jesus Christ and is not dependant upon external circumstances. The analogy of a car being driven from the inside is a very good one. Thanks for a most needful post.

    Have a blessed day in Christ.

    timbob

  2. Great blog. I agree with you that people have particular weaknesses that will always present struggles no matter where they go. When i realized this about myself, I started turning my energy toward confronting the root of the problem rather than trying to make my life situation change as though that was the solution. And no matter what the struggle is, closeness with Jesus is always the answer.

  3. “The truth is, if you have destructive mental habits – if you get annoyed and bothered easily, if you feel angry and frustrated a great deal of the time, or if you’re constantly wishing things were different, these identical tendencies will follow you, wherever you go.”

    Indeed. You can’t run from your troubles, since most come from inside. So wherever you go they are sure to follow. The best answer is to look deep inside, pray that God reveals and heals, and stay put. 🙂

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