At our church, during Sunday morning worship, there is always a time for Silent Confession. We all say a Prayer of Confession in unison and then the minister, keeping his head bowed, goes quiet. There are five hundred people in the sanctuary, and yet you can hear a pin drop.
If others are like me, the 10 to 15 seconds he gives us to ponder our sins simply isn’t enough time. I can barely get through one or two of my weekly blunders before he’s asking God for our pardon. WAIT! I GOT MORE. There is a litany of things I could ask forgiveness for – and whether you’re Christian or atheist, I don’t think it ever hurts to spend some time thinking about what you could be working on to lead a better life.
I often pick out my obvious sins, you know, the ones that fall in the top ten – murder, adultery, taking the Lord’s name in vain (and actually last week I hadn’t done any of those). But today, my mind zeroed in on one of my ongoing issues: lack of full and genuine satisfaction.
I don’t think God told Moses to tabletize that one while on the mount: Thou shalt not be unsatisfied. But He did say not to covet. I think that my lack of satisfaction is less about comparison to others and more about comparison to what I used to have or what could have been.
I call it the “if only’s.”
If only she wouldn’t have had cancer.
If only we would have caught it earlier.
If only the treatment would have been different.
There are a lot of people who don’t live with the “if only’s.”
Our minister asked us this Sunday if we were sleepwalking through life. I think his point was that we should be tackling life – like a brisk hike, joyful to see the day – excited about the potential that lies within it. Instead, you might find me gripping because the sun’s not out or, because the sun’s too hot.
If only it were sunny…
If only it weren’t so sunny…
My brother-in-law Matt just loves life. He even walks with a bounce to propel his body more quickly toward the good he anticipates coming his way that day. He’s not ingenuine or a pushover. He has a rather sharp, sarcastic humor which I thoroughly enjoy. But he seems so content, so excited, sort of like a beagle.
I guess we all have our issues, the things we struggle with. One of mine is a bad case of the “If only’s.”
I got a physical coming up. I’m gonna ask my doctor if there’s a pill for that.