A few days ago, I stopped by the pastry shop to pick up a few treats. While waiting in line, a lady walked up to me and asked if the hair on my head was all mine. I kinda rolled my eyes, smiled and answered in the affirmative. Then she said “Wow, your hair is so lovely.” But I immediately shrugged off any further compliments saying there was nothing to it because my hairline was receding anyway and that makes me sad sometimes. She laughed and then said I should be asking God for forgiveness. That my hair was really lovely. She said her own hairline began right in the centre of her head and she promptly whipped out a picture of herself and truly there was barely any hair on her head. I stifled a gasp. Apparently she was  wearing a wig. Please do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wigs. I wear wigs myself but at least I have the option of wearing my own hair whenever I feel like it. And if I must be honest with myself, my hair is actually not bad at all.
As I was reminded of the conversation later, I realised that it was speaking to me about much more than my “perceived” receding hairline. Does it say anything to you too? Are we always chasing after the next “big thing” and as soon as we get it; on to the next again? Are we perhaps always just wanting more, and not even stopping to appreciate what we are already blessed with no matter how small or insignificant we think they are? Here is the story of someone who was blessed but just kept thinking of how to get more. “Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12: 16-21 NLT This man just wanted more but God was nowhere in the picture of the rosy future he was painting.

Or is it the case that we hardly thank God for what He has already done and instead are  only concerned with what we think is “outstanding” ? (i.e according to us) Are we perhaps so preoccupied with pursuing our own agenda that we are forgetting to thank Him for His goodness and mercy? There was a tribe that was ungrateful for all that was done for them: the grumbling Israelites, that Moses led out of slavery from Egypt, and what happened was that they did not go very far at all. Rather than telling God “You are good and your mercies endure forever;” they were busy complaining to Moses. Well most of  them wasted away in the wilderness. I pray we will not waste away before we realise the importance of gratitude.

Are we busy envying others not even knowing what they are really going through behind their closed doors; that we are hopping from prophet to prophet looking for a solution to a problem that only exists in our imagination rather than acknowledging what God has blessed us with and showing appreciation for it?  If we carry on envying others we might as well be signing up to a lifetime of popping painkillers because: “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Proverbs 14:30 English Standard Version I do not want to imagine rotten bones!

In the very place that we are, let us be grateful and thankful. For it is said “Be grateful for the things and people you have in your life. Things you take for granted someone else is praying for.” Marlan Rico Lee