The Feast of Tabernacles has always been my favorite time of year, and I was especially looking forward to this Feast because my family and I were going to Tobago. Traveling from my home in the northern panhandle of Idaho to Tobago—roughly 4,100 miles away—was a long trip for a ten-year old kid, so my parents bought me a few new toys to play with on the plane. During this trip, however, tragedy struck: I lost a small piece of Lego that went with a set I had just opened. The piece was insignificant, and everything worked without it, but to my young mind, the world was ending! Losing that one piece ate away at me for days. As much as I tried to enjoy the Feast, it was always there in the back of my mind. I let it affect my attitude in a negative way for the first half of the Feast.
The Church members there were all very friendly, and there was almost never a night when we weren’t invited to one of the hotel rooms for snacks and fellowship. One night, we were invited to a couple’s home for dinner. This couple had a young daughter who was about three years old. While my parents were talking with our hosts, I was sitting in a chair, letting my mind wander back to that one piece of Lego that I had lost.
At some point, my mom noticed my grumpy state. She walked over to whisper in my ear and point out the young girl in the corner. She was sitting on the floor playing with only a small handful of rocks—perfectly content creating her own little worlds with rocks! She didn’t have any other toys in that hotel room that I could see. For the entire time we were there, she played with those rocks. She would bring them up to us and proudly show them off to us just like any other kid would do with a brand new toy.
Seeing how content she was as she played with those rocks changed my attitude. Here I was, getting to travel to a different country for the Feast and getting all sorts of Feast gifts while this girl was playing with the simplest of toys—and I was the one who had a bad attitude!
It can be really easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what you have isn’t good enough. I wasn’t content with being where I was and getting all the gifts I was getting. I thought I needed to have that one piece of Lego that I had lost if I were going to be truly happy.
All too often, we think we need that one more thing to make us happy. We need the newest name-brand products. We need the newest style of clothing. We need more money. But what almost every person in the world gets wrong is thinking that more stuff equals more happiness. Few are ever content with what they have—when contentment is actually a key to happiness (Philippians 4:11)!
This little girl played with rocks. She didn’t have any other toys to play with, and she was perfectly content. Learning to be content is an important part of living God’s way and a key to having true happiness.
Oh, and I found that piece of Lego in my backpack when I got home.