I used to spend a lot of time wishing I had someone else’s life. I used to dream of being a rock-star, a singer songwriter, an astronaut, a theologian, the pastor of a mega-church, a scientist, a leader of leaders, an author, a pastor of pastors, a teacher, an academic, a denominational executive, an artist, an actor, a photographer, . . . . In later years I have met rock-stars, singer songwriters, theologians, pastors of mega churches, scientists, leaders of leaders, authors, pastors of pastors, teachers, academics, denominational executives, artists, actors, photographers, . . . . I don’t think I have ever met an astronaut but I read Neil Armstrong’s authorized biography and that cured me of wanting to be an astronaut. For some periods of my life I have actually had the opportunity to do some of these things on my list of jobs I wanted to have and people I wanted to be. I have discovered that the lives of these other people are not as glamorous as I thought they might be.
Actors, singers, and rock-stars speak of the treadmill on which they find themselves. They must always look over their shoulder because there is always someone coming up behind them who is younger, better-looking, or a better singer who is seeking to take their place on the hamster wheel of fame and fortune. Most of these people also dream of being something and someone else. Some of these people I have met have actually wished they had my life. What madness is this that overtakes us all!
I lamented to my theologian, pastor, scientist friend (yes, he is all of those things rolled into one career) that I felt I had never done anything significant in my life. He shocked me when he said that an hour ago he had been lamenting the same thing. Why can’t I be content with my lot? What drives me to always want to be someone else? How can I keep learning how to be content in all things? How can I keep learning to be the person God made me to be?