Photo mine — March 2018 trip
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Today, the verse “. . . godliness with contentment is great gain” kept running through my mind as streaks of restlessness kept coursing through my heart and mind, filling them with anxiety.
I remembered how it was last year when I was ecstatic and very happy with my new job as a Museum Researcher with a flexible schedule and a part-time workload. A month after that, I started my graduate studies in History and it has been quite a year of fun, happiness, fulfillment and of seeing dreams fulfilled until this month. . .
The world has a way of leaving you thirsty and hungry for more. Yes, you get the job you have always wanted to do, a job that allows you to do the things you love to do but then a small voice at the back of your head comes and whispers, “Maybe there’s more to this, a bigger project or a better schedule” and then the restlessness starts again. I empathize with the guinea pig in the cage running for his life in circles, never reaching a destination.
That’s when it hit me tonight as this verse kept running through my head. A subtle but strong reminder from God to be content where I am right now and to move slowly and in accordance with His timing.
Could it be that I started getting restless after reading posts in the net about girl bosses under 30 years old?
Did it have something to do with seeing an Instagram post about celebrities going places, shopping, starting their own businesses?
Have I fallen trap into the social comparison syndrome and the social media jealousy syndrome that makes one forget how blessed she is right now?
Now that I think about it, I can say “yes” to all three questions.
Social media is a powerful tool in our age today. It has the power to move people into action, make them buy things they do not really need, inspire positive social action and, yet, studies have shown that it has also bred jealousy, insecurity and depression in some (if not most) people after seeing friends’ posts about milestones, celebrations and successes.
Surely, one cannot hide under a rock and unfriend all his friends on social media who have posted their triumphs and successes. It is how we view things and respond to these posts.
It is what we fill our minds that matters.
The question here is “do we trust God enough to wait for His timing and trust His good and perfect plan for us even if we want something bigger, better and more financially lucrative?”
At the end of the day, God reminded me that this boils down to an issue of the heart.
Am I willing to rest in His perfect plan for me?
Will I be humble enough to sync my steps with His, allowing Him to take the lead?
These are important questions for someone who professes to follow Christ — follow Him not only in the mountains of successes but also to the valleys of humbling and waiting and in the quietness of resting in the knowledge that His will is good, pleasing and perfect.