We celebrated my daughter Anna’s 4th birthday recently. 9 kids came over to play games and open presents. My wife Leah made Anna her own personal strawberry ‘Frozen’ cake, to go along with the party theme that Anna had picked out.
After taking a few bites of this cake, Anna declared, “I want a pupcake.”
She was well aware that the ‘pupcakes’ were mostly strawberry as well. In fact, the same batter and frosting that made up her cake, was used to make the, much smaller, ‘pupcakes’.
Yet she wanted it all.
My friend Philip smiled and said, “Isn’t that human nature?”
We are given much as Americans, and yet we want more. We may even already have enough ‘cake’, and yet if we see more cake out there on the table, we want it too. Or maybe for you it’s another outfit, some new shoes, or perhaps one more slice of pizza.
I know I have struggled with discipline my whole life. So much is available to me, and so I indulge, or skip that run around the block, or sleep an extra 30 minutes when I could be opening my Bible.
Is an indulgent lifestyle what God wants for us?
Let’s look at a passage from Paul.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:11-12)
For some of us, we need to focus on being content when “in need” or when ‘hungry’. But for many of us, me included, the question is, “How am I doing when I am well-fed and living with plenty?”
Am I content living with the things I need, or do my wants drive my appetite and schedule?
I know I want more cake, and have more cake, way too often. What about you? Is it time to stop thinking about all those sweets on the table, and focus on the goodness that sits right in front of you?
Join me in pursuing that contentment that allowed Paul to be such a light to the world around him.