They say entitlement is a problem with my generation, and I believe it -- I know I've had my moments. I think you could even say that it is more of a problem amongst Christians. In my mind (and probably the minds of others too), this is the way it works: I serve God, the Creator of everything, and He loves me, so why wouldn't He just make everything work out in my favor? In a way, I can even support this with scripture (Romans 8:28). The problem with this thinking though, is that things don't work out all the time, just the way I want them. And then what do you do?
I was thinking this weekend about how nothing is ever perfect; not in a defeated, self-pitying way, but just realizing that life rarely works out 100% the way I want. For instance, I've wanted to work from home for years, and by work I mean write things I want to write, make music I want to make, shoot movies I want to shoot...and get paid for it! Well, we had a daughter this year and I was able to become a stay-at-home Dad through getting an apartment manager job (an act of God we believe). So now I am here! Staying at home, with the freedom to write! Oh, but there's just this one thing...having an infant is a full-time job! So while it's true that I do have more time than I used to for pursuing creative endeavors, it's not what I expected.
Think back on your life and you may see that things haven't necessarily met your expectations or worked out exactly as you planned. And that's okay. The other thing is that scripture supports this even more:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
- John 16:33
And then God is our Father:
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
- Romans 8:15
I know, as a father, that good parenting does not mean giving our daughter everything she wants, whenever she wants it. Actually, that's called bad parenting. What a good parent does is allow his or her child to make mistakes, endure hardships, overcome troubles, which leads to something much more valuable than an easy life: character. As Rick Warren says,
God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
(If you check out the previous link, it has a little devotional about dealing with suffering.)
So expecting everything in life to work out is a fallacy, a pit, which I have fallen into many times in life. But on this side of Eternity, in a fallen world, how can we expect perfection? Which leads me to another point, one which I'll explore in the next post....