I’ve always found the feeling of “contentment,” which is another antonym of greed, to be especially elusive. We can be greedy for more than just money; who hasn’t been greedy for success, accomplishments, praise, time, attention, love, food, experiences, and material goods at some point? In our greed for more of all those things, we often lose sight of the beauty in front of us.
What are you particularly greedy for? I’d like to be a famous novelist. I’d like to visit more countries on fabulous trips with my husband, to be thinner, to have another baby, to read more, to save more money in my coffers so I can feel secure. The time I spend each day thinking about all of these desires obscures the daily pleasures in my life, like my happy baby daughter, my intelligent, hilarious son, my talented and fascinating husband, my warm and pretty home, the text chains with my friends from high school, a weekly outdoor walk with a new friend down the street.
As a mother of young children, perhaps time is the thing for which I might be greediest. So much of my day is spent feeding, clothing, negotiating, and responding to the emotional needs of tiny people. My desires for success and thinness and material goods compete to the death for the remaining time. At the end of the day, I’m left feeling like a failure who can’t possibly accommodate my competing wants. Maybe it’s human nature to reach for more, but this passage makes me wonder if I might look to God in those moments at the end of the day when I’m feeling guilty and disappointed, and lean towards contentment instead.
What form of greed takes too much of your time and leaves you despairing? How would looking to God at the end of the day help you lean into a sense of contentment instead?
God, when we grow distracted by what we don’t have, help us stay centered on you so we may recognize the gifts around us that you are waiting for us to enjoy. Amen.