I don’t know anyone in their right mind who would turn down a road trip to Mackinac Island, the Upper Peninsula, and three out of five of the Great Lakes. So when my friend, who just completed her doctorate, proposed the idea, I was all for it, of course. And of all words I could say, “no” wasn’t going to be one of them.
We had a great time on what we dubbed her “Victory Vacation” because her formal education is finally finished, adding extra letters to her name. It was a ton of fun, and I’d gladly do it with her again!
When we came home to unwind from the roadtrip, we heard about the passing of Robin Williams. It doesn’t matter who it is or how you knew them, death is always sad, natural or tragic.
There are a plethora of blog posts flying this week, commemorating Robin or remembering favorite characters he played, and/or talking about mental illness, depression, and suicide. Things like this often bring these serious issues to the surface. And, like others, I could write about those things in a scientific or dogmatic sort of way, but we don’t need another voice in that conversation at this point.
So here’s where my friend’s victory vacation and Williams’ shocking passing meet.
Having It All…
Dr. Heather has achieved a huge milestone in her career. The world of academia is rather large with multiple layers and levels. She has reached the top—she has gone as far as she could go as a student. There aren’t any degrees left for her to get. She has sat in the classes, taken in the lectures, conducted the research, and written the papers, including a 100+ page dissertation. She has definitely earned it. In the academic world, she has it all.
Similarly, Robin Williams was a revered actor who has had an impressive film résumé. He has played roles including a radio DJ, a professor, a genie, a medical doctor, and even Peter Pan. His range of voices and impressions send audiences into full belly laughter and could entertain for hours on end. Everyone loved him. He even took home an Oscar and was a favorite American actor. He had fame, he certainly had money, and presumably, a fulfilling career as an entertainer. It seemed he had it all.
But what he didn’t have was contentment.
…But Wanting More
I can’t speak to Williams’ mental state and I don’t know exactly how all of that played into his demise. But whatever the case, it prompted me to think about contentment, which may or may not be something I’m terrible at most days. [Full disclosure: I am not by nature an optimist. But I like to call it realism, not pessimism.]
Satan has sold us the lie that enough is never enough, and we’ve bought it because we are greedy. But the truth is that we won’t ever be satisfied by anything here, even doctorates, celebrity status, or millions of dollars.
I’m not going to do the “there are starving children in Africa” line, but it’s a similar concept. This is not a guilt trip. It’s just a reminder. Seize the Day—to be thankful, to be content, to be satisfied by the only One who truly satisfies—the One who made you (Colossians 1:15-17), loves you beyond belief (I John 4:10), and will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Don’t buy into the lie. Choose truth. Choose contentment. Choose Jesus Christ.