"Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye."
~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince
Rarely do I compare. I've seen too much in life to covet what others have/do/are. Instead, when I do compare, it is with pure gratitude in my heart for the blessing of a nice home, knowing that some of my friends around the world live in mud huts with wooden shutters, entire families crammed into small spaces.
Likewise, I often stop and thank God for running water, for stable electricity, for warm water in my shower, for simple things like markets where I can buy meat and not have to slaughter things myself, for peace, good health, good roads, for the blessing of a great education, for a relatively easy life.
I am content, and it is my nature to seek to find the beauty in every season and in the small things around me.
But today, I caught myself wondering how it would be if my life were like that of some of my friends.
The thought was so foreign to me that it felt uncomfortable and nauseating.
I was at the home of a new friend, and from my cozy corner of the room, I so appreciated the warmth and the beauty of my surroundings. I felt so at home. Much like the homes of my closest friends, it had overstuffed furniture, warm paint colors, beautiful decor. I could smell the hot apple cider. Everything whispered, "Welcome!"
Totally out of the blue, I caught myself wishing that I had a place like that, complete with a husband and children, and a hammock in the back yard.
It was the most bizarre feeling, and a very uncomfortable one. Not because I cannot envision myself with a family--I consider myself happily single, and am thankful for the opportunities I have had in life precisely because I don't have a family to consider or a home to take care of. And though I would love to share life with an amazing spouse, I'm simply not waiting for him before I start having a blast!
The discomfort of the moment came because for a moment, I felt so utterly ungrateful for the incredible ways in which God has blessed me--and thankless I am not! I wouldn't trade my life for someone else's, even if it comes with a cozy home and family.
And so, tonight, as I process the events of the day, I am thankful once again for prompting of the Holy Spirit to pause long enough to take a closer look into my heart and to walk out the other side, filled anew with gratitude for the multitude of gifts which make my life uniquely mine--including insights into the harder side of life.