just a temporary fix

it never feels like enough to me. the temporary fixes. maybe that's because i know they'll come back. temporary is fleeting. it passes far too quickly. it's the difference between patching a hole, and replacing the whole thing.

the difference between putting a band-aid on it, and the total healing of a wound.  temporary means that you cannot check it off your list. you have to come back to it, and deal with it again.

so many things in life are a temporary fix -- a process. and process is a word we abhor in our culture. we don't like things that take longer than 30 seconds. the internet is "slow" when it takes more than 10 seconds to load a page. fast food restaurants are "slow" when we have to wait more than 3 minutes for our food. it takes "forever" to get in touch with someone when they do not answer the phone they should have with them at all times.

we HATE processes.

our microwaves heat up ready-made food in 30 seconds. hamburger helper and macaroni and cheese now take too long for us to deal with them. we download music and movies at the touch of a button. we expect to be constantly entertained, and in touch with the lives of everyone around us. everything should be instant.

no wonder our culture is racked with debt. no wonder we've mortgaged our lives to the hilt to get what we want now.

the problem is: there's always more to want, and none of it delivers what it promises.

have you ever noticed that advertisers are like politicians? far too often they make promises they can't keep -- they promise a feeling, a lifestyle, fulfillment, and no product or service will ever give you that.

no wonder we get upset in traffic jams, or when we have to park at the back of the parking lot. we have been programmed to have everything immediately. wait has become a four letter word.

our whole lives are lived around "hurry up". we don't even know what waiting means.
what would happen if we shifted from immediate gratification to delayed gratification?

i honestly think that if we could get people to stop and think about what is really important in (this temporary) life we would live our lives very differently. the problem is getting people to stop and think. we don't know how to think anymore. we don't know how to discern.

we don't know how to slow down, let alone come to a complete stop. whenever i slow down -- take my time with my coffee in the morning, sit down to write a post like this, or do anything that is not entirely necessary, i often feel like a failure -- i feel guilty for not being as productive as i could be.

it drives me crazy though because usually the best experiences are had when we slow down and take time to appreciate things.

why don't we get that? or more accurately -- why don't i get that?

there are chairs on my front porch that i almost never sit in. we have a hammock in our backyard that i almost never lie in. we have a fire pit in the backyard that we don't use nearly as often as i would like. we have lawn games that we rarely play.

the things that encourage "slowing down" are the things that fall by the wayside. not because we want them to, but because we don't make a purposeful effort to slow down. we get caught up in the tornado of life by not making purposeful choices.

there is a finnish proverb, which hangs on my inspiration wall in my office, that says "happiness is a place between too little and too much." 

happiness is fleeting, and i think it's telling that our culture teaches us that it's all about you being happy. and doing whatever makes you "happy". however, i do agree with the sentiment. we're content when we have enough, and i think we'd be content far more of the time if we realized we actually do have enough stuff. because stuff isn't what we need anyway. 

when we try to make people and things something they were never intended to be, we see that they're all just a temporary fix. we keep coming back to the problem.

but the problem has already been solved.
we just search out the solution in the wrong places.
"does the clay say to the potter, what are you making?'
[isaiah 45:9]


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