My Circumstance Is Not the Situation

So often we clump the ideas of “circumstance” and “situation” into one over-bearing umbrella category that we tend to let command the rest of our lives. For example, we might find ourselves with the circumstance of, “I’m poor,” which will lead us to the thought up situation of, “I can’t have fancy things.”

There are many things wrong with this ideology. First of all, in our example we have assumed that fancy things can only be had with large amounts of money. This is problematic because we have now defined fancy things as “expensive things” instead of “fancy things”. There are, potentially, tons of things that are expensive but not fancy. For instance, the speeding ticket I got the other night was very expensive but there was nothing fancy about it. Furthermore, I got the speeding ticket regardless of the fact that I may or may not be poor.

Second, poor. What does it mean to be poor? My grandfather once said something to the effect of, “I’m not poor look at all of this stuff that I have.” He was talking about the ideas that he had, the things he had made, the people he had known and the experience he had through all of it. However, the person asking him why he wasn’t rich had already assumed that a rich person must have a lot of money. My grandfather knew that he was truly rich because of the substance he had received in life.

It is too often that we make this mistake. Money cannot and will not solve our problems. Money won’t make people love me. Money will buy me a house but NOT a home. Money will only empty me and never fill me.

But listen, it isn’t just about money. We are blind-sided with life altering circumstances everyday. My friends are mad at me. My boss is making me work Saturday. I don’t have enough money for the new Samsung TV I want. My girlfriend dumped me. I got fired. I have love handles. I have tiny muscles. I’ll never play baseball professionally. I’m getting old. My loved one is dying. I have cancer…

All of these toxins carry different weight. None of them define our situation. They are all circumstances, which may be easy for me to say as I hide behind the keys on my keyboard. However, I know that there are no answers to be found when we look to these circumstances, big and small, to define the situation of our life.

I know that something greater defines my life. What defines yours?

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