Sunday, April 22, 2007
Washington DC. Traverse City. New York City. Mt. Shasta. Vienna. Honolulu. Sydney. Jerusalem. Phoenix. Tucson. San Diego. Anaheim. Italy. Jackson Hole. Savannah. What do these places have in common? Along with many, many others, I think these are all places where, after visiting, I came home and told Lisa, "Wow, that would be a nice place to live. If only we could move there. Life would be good. Our sinus and allergy problems would end. Evan would learn so much. We'd be so happy ... maybe someday."

She was polite at first when I would come home with these revelations. Then the eye-rolling started. Well, she was probably too kind to actually roll her eyes but I suspect that eye-rolling was a strong temptation for in those monents and it certainly would have been within her right to do so!

It's a good thing I don't spend a lot of time watching the Discovery and Travel networks. We'd really be in trouble then.

It seems I am always chasing happiness somewhere ... chasing that better life, that happier place.

I always thought it was "cute" when I'd come home from a trip and announce to Lisa that I wanted to move there. I felt like it was part of my devilish good looks and incredible charm. (Okay, a hearty LOL on both accounts!) Sometimes I felt like announcing these things was just a stupid thing that men do ... and it was part of our cuteness ... what makes women want us.

(Speaking of the dumb things men do to try to impress their wives ... have you seen Burger King's "Sponge Bob No Pants" commercial? It cracks me up because it is so much like how we men behave. I tried a vaguely similar stunt with my wife a few days ago (I won't embarass myself by providing details) and, well, let's just say it didn't get the reaction that I stupidly was expecting.)

I am probably only really recently starting to come to grips with this "thing" in me that is always thinking "what if," "if only," and "just wait until...". And I probably have a long way to go yet in coming to grips with it.

I do this in other ways, too.

I am always a succor for the latest goody that might help with the fatigue and aches and pains of fibromyalgia ... "if only I could get to feeling better ..." "If only, despite the sloth-like metabolism that comes with this disease, I could lose 50 pounds, then I'd feel better." I have chased lots of cures, usually suggested by someone who said it was the "only thing that worked" for them and then I'd see them two months later and they'd say "Well, it turned out to not work long term," with a down cast look on their face. I knew then that it wouldn't work for me either.

At work, I am always looking for that next big account or that next big sale.

Or, sometimes, I am thinking "If only I didn't own a business or if only I had a different career and a different line of work altogether, then happiness would be mine."

Or sometimes I am thinking, "Wow, what we really need is another business, only in a different sector ... or we need to buy up one more competitor."

Or maybe I am hoping for healed family relationships ... "If only "P" and "Q" could restore their relationship, then I would be burdened with less."

Years ago, I used to wish for a Corvette ... now that would bring happiness. But then I had one good friend point out that Corvettes are really only good for picking up women and that Lisa probably wouldn't appreciate that (and I wouldn't be very good at it anyway). And another friend told me that Corvettes are only for fat bald guys with gold chains (and I don't own any gold chains).

Now, I am not saying that dreams are bad. In fact, dreams and vision are good things. They lead to growth. They lead to positive life changes.

I am also not saying that I should give up on my fibromyalgia and just suck it up and endure it. Though there are many things for me to learn now in the midst of chronic pain, fatigue, and "fibro fog," perhaps God has plenty in store for me to learn someday without the burden of those things as well.

But what I am starting to understand ... in baby steps ... is that the deep, abiding, real happiness I seek doesn't come in a different place or in a fibromyalgia cure, a new business, or a different career. It comes in relationships. Relationships with loved ones here on earth, yes, but also and probably foremost in my relationship with God.

There are undoubtedly plenty of blessings in my future ... maybe even a miracle cure or two ... perhaps a new job or a new business ... but they won't mean anything and, in fact, I won't even recognize them ... unless I have a deep abiding relationship with God. Without the basis of my relationship with God, even the biggest miracle in my life would do nothing but push me harder towards that next "What if," that next "If only," and that next "Just wait until..."

He provides all I need ... I am complete only in Him ... happiness and all things good come only from God and are meaningless without Him.

I have a long way to go but, as I move ahead, I look forward to working hard to deepen and widen that relationship with the One who made me ... the One who has a plan for me that will only be unveiled in the relationship I keep with Him.

  posted at 1:44 PM  

At 9:05 AM, Blogger HeyJules said...

"And another friend told me that Corvettes are only for fat bald guys with gold chains (and I don't own any gold chains)."

THAT was the funniest thing I have read in a week. Seriously. Good think I didn't have a swig of coke in my mouth when I read that.

The rest of the post was even better, though. It is funny how we look to any time but the time we're in, isn't it? And yet, where is God? He's in THIS moment - right here, right now. No wonder we're always searching for something more...

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Todd M said...

Thanks Jules. I just need to remember that He is here, meeting me where I am at ... not where I've been, not where I'm going, not where I may dream of going ... but right here, right now ... where I am at. It's a beautiful thing.


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Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

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