Fill in the Blank

The holidays are a wonderful time, and for many, it is a time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives.  For some, however, it also tends to be a time when we realize just how much we lack.  We see others with their new clothing, gadgets and gizmos, and feel as if we're missing out because there weren't any gifts under our tree this year.  Some look forward to the new year with great anticipation while others are hoping and praying that the upcoming year will be better than the last.  And, as strange as it seems, in the midst of holiday cheer and time with family, a test takes place.  A fill-in-the-blank test, to be exact.  Not sure what I mean?  Here are a few examples:

If I had _____________, I would be happy.
A new ______________ would fill my heart with happiness and contentment.
More ______________ would certainly change my attitude about the new year.
I would be perfectly content with my life if my _____________ were better.

No doubt, as you read through those four questions, a few answers popped into your head before you even realized it.  You see, this isn't a test we have to study for.  We've already trained the answers into our brains.  Money.  Fame.  Job.  Relationship.  Health.  We know we want.  We know what we feel we need or deserve.  And we've fooled ourselves into thinking that once we have "that" (whatever fills in the blank) our lives will be complete and fulfilled and happy.  But more often than not, what happens is that we move on to the next thing on our lists because, let's face it, we'll never have exactly what we want.

So what do we do?  How do we finish up this year and begin the new one with an attitude of hope and gratitude instead of misery and discontentment?  Well, the first step is to retrain our brains.  We do not need money, fame, relationships, good jobs or great health in order to live fulfilled lives.  The only thing we need is Christ, and if we've accepted Him as our Lord, then we already have that.  We need nothing else!  The sooner we realize and accept that, the better off we'll be.

Yes, sometimes life is rough and seems unfair, but this one thing we can be certain of:  Jesus is the right answer every time!