Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. (Isaiah 55:2 ESV)
Many of us work hard to earn a living and save for retirement. We also like to indulge in a few extra pleasures and luxuries because we have the means to do so. When we see others sharing videos and pictures of themselves having fun, we want some of that enjoyment too. Do you ever get that feeling of being less satisfied after acquiring or accomplishing something? The pursuit of that object or ideal drove you to do more until it became yours. Ambition took over and somehow your focus became an obsession.
I have been guilty of doing just that. It was never my intention to be that way, but I realize that my own insecurities fueled my drive to do and be more. I wanted to be better, and I did not want to appear foolish or made to feel inferior. The thought of someone else exploiting my weaknesses for their personal gain just made me more competitive.
However, my successes did not make me feel any more secure. The reason is because there will always be someone more gifted and talented than me. Chasing after my ideal only created more emptiness and insecurity because I end up working harder to protect and preserve an unachievable state of perfection.
God doesn’t want me to waste time and energy chasing things that weren’t meant for me. He wants me to follow his lead. It’s okay to have goals and to be ambitious as long as he is allowed to have a say in them. That’s the difference between self-direction and God’s direction. His laws and precepts are much more than an investment. They are the way that leads to an abundant life built on the things he would rather have me enjoy. For each of us, that so-called “lot in life”is different. For some people he gives more, and others he gives less. For me, I learned to be content as long as I have God, family, and friends. Everything else is just icing on the cake if he chooses to give them to me.