Our Incessant Desire for More

By Graham Glover

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How much is enough?

What would it take to make you content?

Are you satisfied with what you have or do you want more? I’m guessing for most of us it’s the later – whether we want to admit it or not.

We all want more. More, more, more.

Never before have more people had more stuff, more access to things, and an insatiable desire to want even more. Honestly, I have no idea what makes people content these days. Our levels of satisfaction with what we have and the things we want are off the charts. But we want more, that’s for sure.

Part of the problem is our inability to appreciate the things we do have. This past summer my family made a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. Prior to our move we had a yard sale where we made close to $500 selling things I hadn’t seen or thought of for 3 years, even though I could have given you a list a page long of things I thought we needed beforehand. My “junk” was another man’s “treasure” and I had no idea how much stuff we owned. When we arrived to our new duty station we moved into a house almost 1,300 square feet smaller than our previous one. Our garage is still filled with boxes and we have a storage unit that is packed. And yet surprisingly, my family and I are very comfortable in our new home. We lack for nothing. In many respects, our smaller quarters are refreshing. Six months ago I would have scoffed at such a thought.

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In a culture that is constantly selling the latest and greatest, that extols the bigger the better, and always stokes our senses to want more than we have, I have joined the throngs of others who cannot find contentment in the things we have. I want more, no matter how much I already have.

The other problem is that we have no idea how good we really have it. This past weekend saw more rain fall on Columbia, South Carolina than ever before. In less than 48 hours parts of our city literally went underwater. People were evacuated from their homes, electricity was lost, and water became either unavailable or unable to use. Lives were lost. Houses and businesses were destroyed. So far my house has had only had a couple of intermittent power failures. We have been under a boil water alert for the past 36 hours. There are rumors our water will be cut off soon. Fortunately, we have plenty of food and bottled water. We have had no flooding. Showering has becoming problematic due to the lack of sanitized water coming into our home. By all accounts we are facing the most minimal of inconveniences, compared to the rest of Columbia who is dealing with considerable consequences from a flood it has never experienced. But even now, members of my household and those of my neighbors, find ourselves frustrated without the luxury of unlimited running water, clean water to drink and bathe with, and the ability to travel throughout the city to enjoy the conveniences we are accustomed to having. I’d like to think this once in a lifetime flood will change our perspectives on things, but sadly once this has passed, I’m pretty sure we will go back to our excessive need for anything and everything. We will once again find ourselves failing to appreciate our incredible luxury of clean water, abundant electricity, and an inordinate amount food – to whatever extent we want, available whenever we want it.

What has made us this way? Why do I, along with the vast majority of you, never seem content with what we have, never satisfied with the abundant luxuries of the modern world, and never at peace with the simple things in life, to include the fact that my family and I are alive? Why do we all want more, more, and even more?

Christian-Capitalism

There’s no quick fix to this cultural phenomena we moderns face. It’d be nice if we could just resist the incessant advertising, along with the constant call to get more and gain more. Along with you, I wish all of us would heed the words of the Lord and put our trust not in the things of this world, but solely in Him.

We know this is what must be done. We know He is what matters. We know that His Word, His Church, and His grace is all we truly need.

We know that Christ is enough – that Christ makes us content – that Christ satisfies, in every conceivable way.

We know this. We confess this. What we need to do is live this.

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