I have a folder on my computer that contains letters and essays I have written over the years as I processed this confusing thing called life. Here is an excerpt from an essay I wrote in response to a circumstance years ago:
I am so blessed that the mere thought of being depressed is mildly embarrassing. I’ve been given health, a great family, wonderful friends, an opportunity to carry out my graduate work, and that is just the start.
Living in a society that is dominated by consumerism reinforces an interesting mindset. Thanks to effective marketing, everyone constantly wants more. So just what is this “more?” Well, the exact “more” that we do not have. It might be a possession, it might be a physical feature, it might be a relationship, it might be a talent, it might be a career. Now, I will not blame this entirely on society, for a good bit of it is purely human nature.
So in the face of this prevailing feeling I stand, refusing to be dissatisfied. I may experience desire, and I will not ignore that. I just will not allow it to make me ignore the present. For I know that will never be fulfilled as long as I walk on this earth. Thus, it seems ridiculous for me to waste my time regretting things I do not have right now.
The question remains, how much desire is healthy? For without desire and want (and dare I say need), how many of us would do anything? Some degree is necessary, yet it should be an impetus, not a hindrance.
This thought runs parallel to the journey versus destination thought. So often the destination becomes all that is desired, and all hope is in the future. Now this is healthy in a spiritual sense, for that is when true life begins. But in the earthly sense, all we can experience is the journey. While focus on the destination is healthy, creating destinations on earth is very dangerous. For those earthly destinations will move and shift unpredictably. Suddenly, years are gone in the name of chasing an earthly destination.