My life would be better if _____.

Finish the sentence: “My life would be better if…”

“…I were a Kardashian and had my own reality show.”

“…I could sing like Will.I.Am and tour with the Black Eyed Peas.”

“…I had married Suzy Q’s husband.”

“…I had that guy’s job.”

“…my church grew to 10,000 members by next month.”

“…Jay-Z and Beyonce called me and my wife every weekend to make brunch plans.”

Oh, you think just 'cuz a guy's a famous rapper he can't enjoy quiche and mimosas on a sunny Saturday morning?

There seems to always be something to fill in the blank- if you’d caught the right breaks, grown up in the right town, been born with thicker hair, everything would be perfect.

But perfection seems to keep slipping out of our grasp.

We see stories all the time from some of the fortunate few who have “arrived” or achieved their dreams, only to end up making the news for some crazy act of desperation and emptiness. They had everything most people dream of acquiring, and yet they end up even less fulfilled than before.

Something is seriously broken about that scenario…

It was supposed to fix you. It was the thing you’ve always known would make up for all the hardships and struggles you’ve had to overcome… and then it falls short. Completely, hopelessly short.

Someone asked me a question recently about sin- why Adam & Eve’s fruit feast made us bad people, and why, if we follow Jesus, do we still struggle with sin? I think the answer to that also answers the fallacy of the fill-in-the blank, and about our chase to get somewhere we’re never going to get.

We long for more because He has much more in store. We are surrounded by sin because without Jesus there can only be imperfection. Our pursuits feel so vain because we are empty without Him, desperate apart from His love, and void of life outside of His breath.

What we’re promised is that if we pursue Jesus, He will be our righteousness. If we reach for His perfection in our imperfection, He promises to make you right again. If we wrap our lives up in His life, something stops… You stop. I stop. The inadequacies that have plagued humanity… stop.

He had no sin, but he became sin for us so that He might stand at the end of all of our pursuits. No “if’s” about it- He stood in our place that we might know without a shadow of a doubt that our lives would be made better- would be set right, would be restored to all fullness only in Him.

“And in Christ you have been brought to fullness,” “in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God.” Colossians 2:10 & 12

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    And here I opened your blog expecting a fill in the blank at which I was going to type “if I wore a cape.” lol

    Great post, Stephen. I know I tend to say that phrase a lot when I’m discouraged, worn out, or just feeling sorry for myself. It’s easier to think my life would be better if…, rather than start doing the hard work of making it better.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Ha… Good answer! I think I may have missed where I should have taken this post. “Cape” for the win!

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    The fallacy of the fill-in-the-blank. I love the way you put that. We are desire machines, and we keep yearning for something other than God to be that fulfillment.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Exactly, Loren. “Desire Machines”- perfect description.

  • http://www.zahndrew.com/ Andrew Zahn

    Life is good… NOW.

    I have all I need… NOW.

    Sometimes, in my weaker moments, I need to shout the NOW… and enjoy it rather than living in what-ifs and uncertainties like the ‘fill in the blank’ stuff!

    Word Stephen!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Word, Zahndrew! I like how you think.

  • Michelle Woodman

    I need to remember more to be thankful for today and all that is in it — I’m too often looking in the rearview mirror or straining to see what’s on the horizon.

    Thanks for the reminder that all this striving and wishing just wears a soul out.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Good to hear from you, Michelle. Awesome thoughts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jebatthebeach Joan Penn-Bastian

    I love the saying, “careful what you wish for!”.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Granted, brunch with Jayonce may not be that bad…

  • http://dancarman.blogspot.com/ Daniel Carman

    Full on preachin’ today brother. You cannot see me right now, but I am nodding my head in agreement. I know of what you speak, only too well. Oh, and isn’t a Suzy Q some sort of Hostess snack cake?

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) Thanks for the head nods, Dan! You’re probably right about Suzy Q. In which case, her husband most likely is a type 2 diabetes sufferer.

      • http://dancarman.blogspot.com/ Daniel Carman

        I was right about Suzy Q. See details.

  • http://bickleyhouse.wordpress.com/ Jeff Bickley

    The only way my life would be better is if Jesus came back and took me to heaven. I know it sounds like a “Sunday School” answer (I’m old enough to remember Sunday School), but it’s the truth.

    Okay. I’ll admit it. I was going to put “if Fox brought Firefly back.”

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      It’s hard to leave the Sunday School answers out sometimes. I felt there were some “Sunday School” elements to this post, but didn’t want to leave it out as it was on my heart.
      That’s funny about Firefly!

  • Phil

    Tried to comment earlier, but it didn’t take. This was very much needed for me today. I may not have “everything” today, but I have Everything that I need. Great thoughts Stephen, keep it up!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    What a powerful post Stephen. This post reminds me about the passage in James, “draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” When we do this God will fill in our missing gaps.

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