Supposedly, John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon often considered one of the wealthiest Americans of all time, when asked what would make him happy, answered, “One dollar more.”
My husband and I live on the generosity of the supporters of the Campus Ministry that employs us. I love thrift stores and we try (try being the operative word) to keep to a tight grocery budget. At first glance, we are a far cry from the Rockefeller lifestyle; however, my heart is infected with the same sickness that seems to have plagued him.
While I don’t find myself clinging to the next dollar, I do find myself clinging to and hanging my hope upon the next article I write, the next exciting adventure or the next way to be more organized. For my kids, it can look like one more Lego set, one more goal, or one more Starburst.
Just one more.
For some it may be one more pound lost or one more sports car. For others, it may be one more child or one more promotion. For others, it might be one more compliment or five more minutes of fame. While it manifests in the widest spectrum of symptoms, the disease distempers each of us who inhabit this spinning rock. At some point after achieving that achievement or possessing that possession or reaching that milestone, we find ourselves creating a new one more to add to the ceaseless series.
If only I could be more.
As we approach New Year’s resolution season, my case of the Just One Mores tends to become exacerbated and is joined by an acute case of the “If only I could be more…” If only I could be more disciplined, I could lose those extra inches. If only I could be more laid back, our household would be more light-hearted. If I only I could be more consistent, my walk with God would more closely mirror Mother Theresa’s. If only I could be better at keeping in touch, I could be a better daughter and friend.
In theory, I love the fresh slate of an approaching new year; however, in practice, I find the turn of the calendar paralyzing on account of the Just One Mores and the If Only I Could Be Mores.
As I come into the home stretch of 2017 and stare into 365 days of an unknown and unknowable 2018, I want to hang my hope and happiness, my security and success on the all-knowing God is who eminently knowable. In His revealed Word and the fullest revelation of Himself in the person of Christ, I find the antidote to my sin-sickness.
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-8.
Physical food and actual clothing, yes. But we have an eternal food and clothing completely provided for us by the person of Christ.
When Christ was on the earth, He gave us hints into the secret of His contentment with his early career of carpentry and his second career as an itinerant preacher.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. John 4:32.
Through Christ, we are given the righteous robes that cover our ragged attempts at self-righteousness and self-improvement. In Christ, we are given the opportunity to make God’s will and ways our bread.
In Christ, we have food and clothing and the antidote to our cases of One Mores and If Only I Could Be Mores.
As we look to a new year, we trust not in our own efforts or strength, but in the completed work of the Risen and Resurrected Christ.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.
One More can become One More Chance to lean on the God who can do far more than I could ever dream or plan.