I have had this idealized version of life that I have strived to achieve. A life of travel, excitement, wonder and adventure. I’ve often dreamt of seeing the world by boat, and it has been such a big dream that when I started working that the goal of one day setting sail motivated me to save. Life has a way to humble the grand plans of a man in his youth, and needless to say my savings aren’t quite what I would need to pull this feat off (have you seen the price of a good ocean capable boat?).
As I age reality is starting to set in and the thought that this dream is more of a pipe dream makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in a bad way and the Lady Beckman and I will surely have much fun traveling and spending time just being amazed at this world Jehovah has made for us so I dare not complain. But, as I grow older and as my bank account refuses to grow at the pace I am trying to telepathically will it to grow at, it just seems the grand dream of seeing the world by boat is just that, a dream. Laugh if you must, but those childish dreams of mine, reading books and magazines about the adventurous ones gave me a bit of wanderlust.
As a young man just figuring out life, I thought I was going to set this world on fire. Take the bull by the horns so to speak. My life is great, I have a wonderful wife and more friends who are true and genuine than I have ever had in my life. But, the sense of loss of this dream is real and I feel sad when I think about it. Then, out of nowhere, as if Jehovah himself are reading my heart, right in the middle of congregation bible study this scripture comes up:
Better to enjoy what the eyes see than to wander after one’s desires. This too is futility, a chasing after the wind.Ecclesiastes 6:9
Oh miserable man that I am! It would seem that I am chasing after the wind! In truth all of Ecclesiastes 6 is applicable here, just a few sentences before we read:
The true God gives a man riches and material possessions and glory, so that he lacks nothing that he desires; yet the true God does not enable him to enjoy them, although a stranger may enjoy them. This is futility and a severe affliction.Ecclesiastes 6:2
I remember a few years back some missionaries came to our Kingdom Hall to talk to us about their work in Africa. They were helping to build Kingdom Halls in remote villages where resources were limited. It is not uncommon for people to include those under trial in our prayers. One of the missionaries told me that when those Africans with meager resources were praying, they prayed to Jehovah that their brothers and sisters in richer lands would not be tempted by the snares of wealth. Imagine that, here we are praying for them to have the means of life, and there they are praying for us!
Even with my little dream fading away it is still clear that Jehovah provides richly for his people, and I count myself as one of them. Those in Africa were happy with what they had, and prayed for those not blessed with poverty to have the faith to avoid the seduction of riches. Meanwhile, their brothers with much were happy and are praying for them to have enough. Of course they all acted in harmony with their prayers and that is how we got to the missionaries being over there in the first place. This reminds me of 2 Corinthians 8:
but that by means of an equalizing, your surplus at the present time might offset their need, so that their surplus might also offset your deficiency, that there may be an equalizing. Just as it is written: “The person with much did not have too much, and the person with little did not have too little.”2 Corinthians 8:14-15
So where does that leave me? Happy to be alive, happy to be a part of Gods kingdom, happy that I have so many brothers and sisters around the world who love and pray for me. Sometimes, it’s the things we don’t have that we should be thankful for. I have enough, and even have been blessed with enough to share with others. That should be enough. And it is.