When I was child, life was a lot more simple. I run and play, get dirty or get wet. What is Star City or Disneyland? Everywhere is a playground. I didn't need a plane ticket to go and enjoy the beauty of nature. I speak a few words, yet I talk and try to connect even without wifi and smartphone. I don't keep digital memories in a hard drive or in the cloud. I simply laugh and keep making memories. I don't even bother if its a non-fat milk; I just enjoy it.
Nevertheless, I had dreams and I dreamed big! I thought that I can achieve whatever I want, like becoming an astronaut one day. Life has a lot of promise.
Years later, my simple world was changed by the never stop commercial ads on TV and in the streets, much more on the Internet. Signature goods signifying prestige. Beauty products offering acceptance. Expensive house promising happy home. Distant vacations promising memories and learning. Or even a high paying career promising fulfillment. I looked around, and now I have 2 smartphones, 2 tablets, a laptop, 2 fridges, 2 cars, several luggages, 2 passports, and the list goes on.
Yet when I look within, I never felt fulfilled. I kept looking for the next iPhone release, or the next salary raise. These ads are like a never ending invitation to get something better or to become better. Yet unconsciously, its a never ending reminder that I don't have enough; worse, that I'm not enough. I realized this is not the kind of life they have promised me to have. All these have distracted me from what i really want to be. Without paying attention, they have stolen the contentment of my childhood.
I exchanged my time with money. I worked hard to get a salary raise. On holidays, on weekends, and in evenings, any chance I can have in order to earn more. With less time I have, I need to eat fast food and drink instant coffee. 7-11 is my "convenience store". In fact, buying bottled water is also convenient; its not cool to carry a thumbler or mini thermos. I get mad on bad traffic. I lost my patience in waiting, so i used credit cards to shop ahead of pay day. Life seem to be getting too fast. My calendar is full of parties, meetings and meet ups, appointments.
Despite my busy life, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. I realized it's been more than 10 years since I graduated from a university, yet my dreams are not any closer than before. I don't even remember anymore if I have dreams at all. I just keep working because i need money. I have become a money-making machine. Have I lost a life of passion and purpose?
"For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:24-25). I don't want to lose myself. I want to be who God has made me to be. I don't want money and materialism to dictate what I should be, or what I should value. I wanna be a child again.
Jesus said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). For me, abundant life means having the freedom to work or not. Freedom to create, serve and give more. Freedom to talk and listen more, laugh and hug more. Precious time to read and think more. The possibility of a rich life is endless.
I maybe guilty on many of these, but this is not the story of my life, but a retelling of the life of many people today.
"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many." (Matthew 7:13)
by Noel Pure
I'm a Python web developer by profession and the author of Noel Codes
and Ancient Views
. I like coding and reading books, specially the Bible.