The “If only” trap
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.” Ecc 11:4 NLT
Author Betty Mahalik says in this day and age we’re surrounded by messages that scream, “My life would be perfect if only I’d a different job…house…car…nose…spouse…bank account (you fill in the blank). Or if I could be like some celebrity whose life appears well ordered and perfect. Well this week I stopped playing ‘my life would be perfect if,’ and started playing ‘my perfect life.’ What’s the difference? Three things: (1) Being in the present; (2) An attitude of gratitude; (3) Taking action with what’s available now…When we’re caught up in the ‘my life would be perfect if’ trap, we lose touch with the present and can no longer practice gratitude. Think about it: it’s difficult to be grateful for what you don’t have…and what you don’t have is always somewhere in ‘future-ville.’ Look around you…do you have a roof over your head and food to eat? A few good friends or close relationships? Then appreciate them…You’re probably sitting there thinking ‘Yes, but I want more money, a better relationship, more time to travel, to be thinner, happier, or whatever’…stop focusing on what you lack and start focusing on what you’ve already got.” The Bible says, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” If you demand perfection-or-nothing, you’ll keep ending up with nothing. The fact that “God…made us what we are” (Eph 2:10 TLB), means while our best is always commendable, none of us will attain perfection this side of heaven. And that’s okay, because Christ has clothed us in His righteousness and made us “complete in him” (Col 2:10).