Pass the Salt?

Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

Proverbs 2:3-4

Imagine that life is one large dinner party. Everyone has been seated around the table and the food starts coming out. As we start to see things passed around, we suddenly start to realize just how hungry we are. Different foods are being placed down on the table, and this meal is extensive with all kinds of food imaginable. We start to plan out what it is that we want.

Could you pass me the rice? The chicken too? Hmm… This isn’t quite what I expected. Could you pass the salt?

Eventually, we get at least some of the things we want on our plate, but new foods are constantly being brought out. We see that our neighbor is close to finishing her meal, and the staff brings out an incredible piece of cake for her.

“That looks good,” you mention to your neighbor. Then, you ask the server for a piece just like it.

“Well, I’m sorry, but you haven’t finished your meal yet. We’re not allowed to serve dessert until you are close to finishing your meal.”

Food, good food, the best food you’ve ever seen keeps coming out to all of the various guests at the table. The things on your plate continue to look worse and worse until you’re eventually just playing around and poking through what’s on your plate. Your eyes persist in darting from person to person; you start to think that what you have isn’t so great. You keep asking the servers for different things, but it seems like it’s taking them a very long time.

I find myself acting just like this dinner guest all throughout my life. I sit down to the table, and I ask for the bread of a job, the meat of direction, or the spice of a relationship. To make matters worse, I start looking for the ketchup or the salad dressing because the way the cook has prepared the food isn’t quite to my liking.

So many times, I pray for things. I pray for good things, sure, but it’s obvious that my impatience is there. I am merely rolling the things around on the plate that I do have while all of my attention is going around to what else is out there. So often, the closest I get to enjoying my own meal is when I start throwing in the various spices of my own effort to make it better.

When I start to feel this way, I try to remember the verse that opened this post. Rather than being obsessed with finding a relationship, a career path, or simply an A on the next paper, I try to seek wisdom and understanding to deal appropriately with what I do have.

It can be difficult when everyone around you seems to be getting exactly what you want, even exactly what you need. It’s not an easy task to seek understanding like you seek after the tangible things, but that wisdom will help you understand your desires and why you want what you do. So, you’ll be able to notice when the right job or relationship comes along because you’ll have spent time crying out for the insight and discernment to know the difference between what is good and what is not.

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