Unchained III: Just One More

Just One More

Many who know me have often heard me lament that someday I’ll write a short and sweet, and very powerful (best-selling, too, of course!) book titled Just One More. I constantly find myself thinking or saying “Just one more…” Pleeeeease.  You, too?  

Just one more hour on the report, the project, the presentation… Just one more day to work on it, nail it down, get it right… Just one more week to prepare, to be sure, to perfect it… Just one minute to get through emails, texts and vo0icemails… Just one more post, one more call, one more review, one more ‘like’…  Just one more house that’s bigger, one more smartphone that’s newer, one more car that is sexier, one more trip that is more exotic… Just one more raise, one more accolade, one more promotion, one more upgrade… Just one more chance…  Just one more look… Just one more go at it… Just one more shot… Just one more thing… Just one more minute… Just. One. More.

Whatever your Just One More is – if it’s of this (above) having and doing kind – it won’t be just one more.  That’s the thing about it. It’ll be one more after one more after one more after one more.  We’re increasingly getting caught up in the wanting of more. Actually, in our modern-day world, we’re craving more.  There are many who suggest that it’s just a part of the natural progression and evolution of things, perhaps even instinctual or intuitive. I’m not one of them.  I believe that this craving isn’t an intrinsic quality of healthy, developing human beings or cultures. Actually, quite the opposite – it’s at the root of much human suffering. So many people across my programs and workshops share their stories of such. (Stay tuned for more later in this series.)

Crave (v.): feel a powerful desire for.  Craving robs us of the present moment and the contentment found only within the present.  These are moments that we can never get back again, no matter how much we long for them or try to recreate them. Craving projects us out into the future, a future filled with uncertainty and unknowns, and subsequently filled with anxiety, angst, fear, worry, and a nagging sense of lack.  It moves us away from the here and now, the only place where joy and peace is ever truly known.  It pushes our focus out from our internal worlds where we choose our path to well-being and into the external world where command is often not ours and needless suffering is inevitable.  

Our wanting more, and more, and even more, chains us to over-work and under-rest, to over-comparison and under-contentment, and to over-desiring and under-gratefulness.  This is too empty to be natural or good for us.  It’s too Godless.  As I write, I’m aware of a striking visual inside my mind’s eye: a visual of huge needles produced by hype, by media-junk, and by false promises of happiness made by power, fame, wealth, and entitlement.  These needles drain us of our rightful, internal sense of serenity, faithfulness, peace, and hope – and then pump us full of a poisonous compound of envy, bitterness, greed, dread, apathy, and despair.  Over and over again – the good stuff is drained when we look to the outside for more, and over and over again the poison is pumped into us. Over and over again, just one more of the having and doing kind will never be enough.  

Unchain yourself, if even just for this moment.  Wonder with me about Just One More of radically different kind, the intrinsic kind, the kind that genuinely feeds and nourishes you with sustaining hope, peace, love, gratitude, and contentment – the God-filled kind.

Wonder about Just One More moment to be right here, right now – breathing – just experiencing breath. Just One More moment to pause, to rest, to unwind, and to savor. Just One More minute to be in the presence of a loved one, to cherish an embrace, to recognize a smile, the connect with your eyes…Just One More minute to be alive in the rhythm of a score of music, or in the soul of a masterful piece of art.  Just One More moment to be able to see the beauty of a new sunrise, to feel the rush of crisp, cold air in the midst of a snowfall, to notice the gentle breeze of a warm spring day brush against the back of your neck, or to be able to hear the mesmerizing sounds of nature… God’s miracles of our every day. Just One More moment to really taste the exquisite first sips of steaming coffee in your cup, or the clean, fresh water in your glass.  Just One More long sigh, or gentle and reverent stretch, or sleepy, slow yawn. Just One More time to wear your worn-in, cozy socks or slippers, or to ease into your favorite, comfy sweats.  Just One More belly laugh and goofy giggle.  Just One More chance to say out loud: ‘I love you,’ and to whisper quietly to yourself: ‘I love me.’  Just One More heartbeat – one more that far too many never get – reminding us that we so blessed to just be alive. You are alive, and that is the just one more that is beyond all grace.

“I am alive in this very moment – and it is enough.”

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