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What Table Are You Vying For?

Are you hurting yourself?

Just by watching TV and clicking on those pesty links that keep popping up everywhere urging you to shift your focus?

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we are constantly being conditioned to desire.  To be unceasingly, ‘after something.’ 

Maybe it’s the new job or promotion, one more credential, or moving up to a particular zip code, then, we will be ‘happier.’

This reminds me of that morbidly hilarious Monty Python sketch where a very obese man is wiping his mouth after finishing his meal, when the waiter comes with the bill and a mint.   He picks up the mint, pops it in his mouth and says, “just one more bite.”   And promptly explodes.  

That’s a bit graphic, but you get the point. 

There is a popular new genre of study called the Psychology of Happiness that is not so new. 

From the first-time children are taught the Pledge of Allegiance the indoctrination to pursue happiness begins.

But who tells us what happiness is?  And just how worthy of a pursuit is it? If you are pondering these questions, you might also consider what are you doing to pursue it, and what is it costing you?

For starters, there’s the cost of comparison.  Which itself is after something, validation.

Validation that gets you a seat at the table.  What table?  The table of musical chairs that keeps you spinning your wheels or  running the race to win more toys, in exchange for the things that matter most.   Relationships, time, health, and joy. 

That seat is ours only if we meet with approval or keep up with the Joneses. 

And then suddenly…we don’t have our seat anymore. 

Perhaps you’re waking up to this.  Maybe you just lost your seat or are finding it uncomfortable and not worth the price. 

If this, is you, congratulations!   You have landed in a very good disruptive place to be; at the threshold of discovery and change.  

I’ve had lots of experience vying for a seat at the table, practicing comparison and trying to live up to the expectations of others.  And have never found it to be a fruitful endeavor.  But a robber of joy, a perpetrator of discontent.  Peddling misery by gazing at a picture that is not meant to be. 

Joseph Campbell had a belief that I wholeheartedly share, “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”

Jesus said it first though, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”  (Matthew 16:25.)

There is no time like the present to consider the real cost of your pursuits.  Ask yourself what are you aiming for and what will it give you? 

What are you willing to do, to make your way to a seat at the Table of Life that is waiting for you, and can never be taken from you?


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