Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Wants and the Shoulds

How does one develop more self-control? My husband is the king of self-control and I am the queen of indulgence. But I want to change, to be freed from my "wants" and to get sucked into the "good shoulds," the things that will help my family to be closer, happier, cleaner.

This is more honest than I tend to be, but admitting the problem is the first step. So here goes: I tend to get sucked into addictive things like playing computer games, online surfing, and chocolate. I've often tried giving something up, but I frequently end up with something else to fill the pleasure/sugar vacuum. These addictions may not seem that serious, but they are unhealthy for me. Especially the things that take time away from what I could be doing. I wish it were easier to do the good things. But it's hard for me to make delayed-gratification choices with my time. I chalk it up to tiredness, fatigue, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, whatever I can.

I heard a story once where a young man dreamt that everything he spent time on got reviewed after death. His record had tens of thousands of hours playing video games, watching movies, and wandering online. Time spent with Christ? Very little. People he shared Christ with? Few.

It's not that I want a holier-than-thou life, but there is more than just the here-and-now. If there is a record like that, I want mine to have as little junk as possible. Jesus said, "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:20-21). I want my treasures to be eternally satisfying.

So I'm starting today, little by little to invest less in temporary pleasures and more in God's kingdom. Like a favorite teacher of mine would say, "Carpe aeternitatem: why settle for just one day?" Seize eternity. 

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