While I was working happily at my part-time job at a clothing store, I was suddenly robbed! And, the other day, at church – robbed! Then, again at home – robbed! The sad thing is, that I allowed it to happen – I let the thief right in. Let me explain…
At the store, I was content, working with coworkers I like, doing a job that is rather easy and enjoyable. Then, I looked up to see an adult daughter with her mom walk into the store. They were both carrying shopping bags and coffee, talking intently with each other – so absorbed in their conversation that they barely responded when I said, “Hello!” That’s when the thief came and robbed me. I suddenly felt waves of sadness and discontentment. My mom lives about 1,200 miles away from me. I’d love to go shopping and have coffee with her and engage in lively conversation. If only it was different… Poor me.
At church, I sat with people I know and love. I felt a sense of belonging. Then, as I looked across the room at a couple who are very like-minded in ministry and spiritual formation and I was robbed again! My guy and I have always been in different places spiritually. What joy it must be to be on the same page! I felt grief and disappointment. If only it was different… Poor me.
At home, I sat in my quiet home, enjoying my morning coffee. Then, I saw my neighbor leave to catch the train – the same train we used to ride together downtown to work. Her life has continued on. She has such purpose and here I sit at home, unemployed. A big Zero. I felt despair and hopelessness. If only it was different… Poor me.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” I opened wide the door to the comparison thief – it was easy to let it in…. so easy to assume that everyone has it better than me.
Here’s the truth: I’m so grateful for my relationship with my mom. So many people aren’t close to their mom – or their mom is no longer living. What a gift to maintain a good relationship with her – even while we’re miles apart! When we’re together, the time is precious and fun. And, my guy! Boy, do I love him! I know for a fact that he loves me, too. What a gift to be in a sweet season of marriage. Even though he doesn’t understand what Spiritual Direction is, he’s very supportive. And, my unemployment has been a gift of rest – something I’ve been asking God to provide for years. What a generous gift!
It’s so easy to let the thief in and steal my joy. But, I’m refusing to let the thief in these days. There’s nothing good that can happen when I do. Instead, I’m focusing on gratitude for what I do have. Thanks be to God, from Whom all blessings flow.
What about you? When have you allowed yourself to be robbed? How do you close the door to the thief?