Tag Archives: Max Ehrmann

Relishing on the Journey

7 Dec

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

“Mom, please, please, can I have that for Christmas?”

Christmas used to be seasoned with pleas from our kids to get them that one more toy. We weren’t perfect parents; we gave in sometimes. But why wouldn’t we? Just like our kids, we’d fallen for the popular competitive race. It used to be called “Keeping up with the Joneses,” but now the Jones family is bankrupt. You’d think we would have learned, but no. I would put on my running shoes, slip on my headband, and put on my T-shirt that read, “Heading to Win – I’m on a Mission,” and dash off to the finish line. Anxious voices cheered me on: “Get the best, gather more, and grab every opportunity!” That included indulging our sons so they too would be a tinge above the competition. Finally, with wobbly knees, I reached that elusive finish line. But to my disappointment, rather than contentment, another finish line awaited. There was ALWAYS another finish line to reach.

Competition often throws us into the compare snare. And caught in its web, contentment is as elusive as snowflakes in Orlando. Way back in 1927 poet Max Ehrmann wrote, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter.” Now, years later and with a bit of wisdom flickering in me, I broke loose from that snare. By replacing competition with contentment, stress is greatly reduced. I learned this from a pretty great guy. He found contentment in ways foreign to most of us. He’d been in prison, beaten, insulted, and even left for dead, yet, he found real contentment. How did he do it? Paul is his name and he wrote a letter revealing his secret. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13) The “Christ” in Christmas is what gives us the strength to change competition to contentment. So, while sipping on a cup of hot apple cider, I’ll ponder on this truth: Contentment ushers in, not when reaching goals, but when receiving His grace to relish on the journey.

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Janet Perez Eckles,
Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…
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