Why Do You Seek What You Already Have?

 If you search everywhere, yet cannot find what you are seeking, it is because what you seek is already in your possession. – Lao Tzu

They arrived at the intersection at almost the same moment.

The skateboarder was perhaps 15, still young enough to have a crop of pimples on his forehead. He wore baggy shorts, a T-shirt advertising a band that no one over 30 had ever heard of, and that sullen look on his face that only teenagers can perfect.

And then there was the man in the beautiful convertible, top down with the smooth jazz channel cranked. He wore a sport coat, a shirt with an open collar and sunglasses that probably cost more than most people spend on dinner out. The woman in the passenger seat looked as if she’d been cut out of a high-end fashion magazine and pasted into the car, her hair perfect despite driving in a convertible.

As the skateboarder and the man in the convertible both waited for the light to turn green their eyes met and held just long enough to make them both uncomfortable.

The skateboarder thought to himself, “I can’t wait to grow up and own a car like that. And maybe when my skin clears up I can get a date with a beautiful woman. It must be nice to be able to do what you want and go where you want whenever you want. I have a term paper due in English that I haven’t even started, and I don’t know how I’m going to tell my parents that I’m flunking chemistry. I hate being a kid. I’ll be so much happier when I grow up.”

The man in the convertible thought to himself, “Geez, I wish I could be a kid again and be free. The pressures at work are killing me, and business is so bad I can’t even make my car payment. And the stress is so high I haven’t had a civil conversation with my wife in a week. What I wouldn’t give to throw on a pair of baggy shorts and just skateboard down the road. I’d be so much happier if I were a kid again.”

And with that, the light changed and they both went their separate ways. Each pursuing happiness they already had.

What do you see at the intersections of your life?

Jeff Marian is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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