Monday, February 07, 2005

Got Contentment?

Best. Weekend. Ever. Or so says Princess T. We attended a Go Fish concert Saturday, which was the highlight, of course. Any day that starts with swim lessons - read: semi-organized "play in the water" time - and a trip to Burger King, though, is already a hard day to top. Throw in a concert chock full of kid-friendly songs and someone dressed up as a cow, and you're nigh on perfection. Four-year-olds are somewhat charming that way.

Sunday was also good, when we stopped for cookies on the way home from church. We baked brownies for our family Super Bowl treat, and enjoyed a Peanuts movie. It doesn't get better than that for your typical preschooler.

Then came Monday. We've had a discussion or two (or ten) today on contentedness. Namely, there were a number of times today when she would ask for something, we'd provide it, and she would insist she wanted something else too. Or, something "better." She asked for a blanket, for instance, then demanded a different blanket when the one we gave her wasn't "good enough." Perhaps we set the bar too high with this weekend!

But no, I don't think that's it. I think it's human nature; the grass is always greener, and usually softer too, we think. No weeds over the fence, just putting surfaces that feel luxurious on the bare feet. Nobody wants to work their own yard, but would rather seek what others have. The problem is, every yard (to stretch the metaphor rather uncomfortably) has weeds. Or worse, moles digging up the yard from underneath, unseen by the neighbors.

I'm reminded of a Twilight Zone episode where a man went to an agency promising him he could trade his life (dull and all that) for another man's life. Basically, he would trade places with someone else, physical appearance and all. Nobody would be the wiser. He chose to trade lives with a man wealthy and exciting - fast cars, large house, beautiful wife. While wondering why a man with such a life would be willing to swap places with a nobody, he enjoyed the luxuries he could never afford in the old life. When his "wife" gave him some wine by the pool, though, he discovered why the "rich man" was willing to trade with a loser: the wife poisoned him so she could spend his money with her boyfriend.

God gave us rules for a reason. They are for our own good, even when they seem nonsensical to us. Contentedness is a low-stress way to live our lives, and it is a trait we hope to instill our daughters. Yeah, we love to give them joy and some material things. Trips to a restaurant or a concert are good things when enjoyed in moderation. But as Go Fish sings in their Ten Commandment Boogie:
if your friend has something you think is cool
Don't ever wish that it was yours - and that's the final rule in...
The ten commandment boogie

Princess T will learn that following these rules leads to a more peaceful life. Hopefully, she'll keep reminding me as well.

Vox Apologia IV is up. Good question this week (what happens to those who've never heard the Gospel?) Check out the entries for some interesting answers.

God bless!

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