I don’t know about you but I like new things. It’s fun to think about what I want to buy, how I’ll use it, and how nice my life will be once I have it. Saving up my money, I sacrifice the little things in order to get the thing I really want.

Finally, the day comes and excitedly I add it to my cart, (probably digitally.) After confirming my order, I anxiously await its arrival. Several days later when it arrives on my front steps, I eagerly tear open the package. There, shiny, bright, and new is that thing I’ve been thinking about for so long! It’s finally in my hands and I get to enjoy it.

Seemingly though, no matter what it is, after several days, weeks, or months, that item loses it shine. I still enjoy it and it might even make me smile or give me a sense of satisfaction at the sight. Gradually though it becomes normal and I start to think about the next thing.

Does this sound like you? Call it consumerism or just human nature, I think we all experience it at times. Most of us are working towards a more ideal lifestyle or goal. It’s that drive for a better life for ourselves and those we love that gets us up in the morning. Whether it’s a dream home or property, a nicer vehicle, or simply the ability to not live from paycheck to paycheck, we’re all working towards something.

For Aaron and I, it’s land of our own. It’s the big thing we talk about and dream about. We dream of having a property with plenty of room for a homestead with animals and an orchard. A place to call our own where our children can grow up in the woods and pastures. Berry bushes and beautiful gardens to feed our bodies and souls. A haven, a place of inspiration and rest.

The other day as I was caught up in imagining what our life could be, I was struck silent as I looked out the window. There, before my very eyes was a small piece of that dream. I have the vegetable garden, the flower and herb gardens, and even the berry bushes. We have backyard chickens that supply us with fresh pastured eggs. I realized that my reality was probably someone else’s dream.

What am I doing with that reality? Am I truly enjoying the bounty and beauty in front of me? Or am I lost in a future world of what could be? Around the same time, I heard someone share this quote, “I reached the top only to realize there was nothing there.”

I pondered that thought as I stepped outside and walked through my garden. I was reminded that if I forget to be grateful in the midst of all my striving,and to enjoy my present, I will never be happy at “the top.”

So the challenge I’m issuing to myself and to you is one of gratitude. When you wake up in the mornings, step outside and take a couple deep breaths. Smell your flowers and notice the insects. Close your eyes and lift your face to the sun. Dream on, but as you go, remember to pause and truly see and enjoy your life for every good thing it holds.

There’s Nothing at the Top

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