We live in a fast-food world. We have become accustomed to getting things quickly: over-night shipping, text messages, microwave food, one-cup coffee makers, etc. Waiting is not an option. We want it all and we want it now!
I don’t like to wait any more than the next person. I look for the shortest line in the grocery store. I try to stay in the fastest lane of traffic. I check shipping times and get irritated when I have to wait a few days for a package to arrive. I no longer write letters, because email and text messages are so much faster. I love the option to order my coffee and it’s ready when I arrive at the local Starbucks. No waiting. It’s great! At least, most of the time.
There are times that I want to wait. I wait to pay bills. I put off until the last possible moment blood tests and doctor’s appointments. I hit the snooze button numerous times in the mornings. I avoid confrontation. These are all times when I want to wait. But, what about the person on the other side. Do they like to wait for me to act? Do the people who I cut-off in traffic or in the check-out line understand? Does the time to write a letter mean more than a quick email? Do I care? REALLY?
When the most important persons in my life are Me, Myself and I, the needs of others are of no concern to me. I don’t care how my actions affect anyone else. As long as I am happy, who cares? In an egocentric world, it’s all about ME. I don’t wait to get what I want, regardless of what that might be. When it’s all about ME, I can cheat on my spouse or just replace them when I no longer “feel” for them. After all, MY pleasure and happiness is most important. When it’s all about ME, I do my best to make others look bad since that’s the fastest way to make MYSELF stand out. When it’s all about ME, I obsess on the next thing I want: a new car, a bigger house, the newest gadget, the next cruise or vacation so others can see how important/successful I am. When it’s all about ME, rumor and gossip are my favorite types of communication. Talking about others’ misfortunes and bad choices, diverts attention from my own poor choices and discontent. When it’s all about ME, there’s never enough to keep me happy. I long for peace and contentment, but I don’t seem to be able to keep Myself happy for long.
Don’t misunderstand: There’s nothing wrong with success or having a nice home or car or traveling. There’s nothing wrong with them unless those are the things you center your life around. Happiness is not found in things. It’s not found in relationships or success. Happiness is found when I decide to BE happy; when I decide to seek contentment where I am in this moment. And, usually, I find happiness in the places where Me, Myself and I are not. When I focus on others, when I realize that my family and friends are important, when I begin to reach outside of Myself, happiness finds me. Momentary pleasure is not happiness. It’s said that “happiness comes to those that wait.” Maybe, we need to learn to be patient, slow down, invest in the world around us. Maybe we need to learn to wait. Maybe our focus needs to change from Me, Myself and I to You, Them and They. Would that make a difference?
What do you think?
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” John 15:13-15 MSG