Recently, I’ve been hearing more and more people talk about the Enneagram, a personality assessment that describes your core fears and desires, leading you to help understand what motivates you and why we feel how we feel. I am a Type 7 – meaning I’m an enthusiast, or as one resource put it, the entertaining optimist. If you know me at all, this is pretty accurate.
It describes my core fear as being deprived, trapped in emotional pain, limited, bored, or missing out on something exciting. My core desire is to be happy, satisfied, and content. My core weakness is gluttony – that I have an insatiable desire to “fill myself up” with experiences and stimulation. In order to avoid emotional pain, the Type 7 will pursue a variety of positive, stimulating ideas and activities, but will never be completely satisfied.
When I first read this description, I thought, “Wow, pretty accurate! But I don’t struggle with those things THAT much. I’m not ALWAYS trying to avoid emotional pain by filling my life with experiences and fun activities to distract myself and satisfy myself. Please.”
But now that I know this about myself and I am more aware of my internal desires and fears, God has been using this tool to expose some sin loud and clear. I truly am so afraid that I won’t “make the most” out of my days with where I am and who I’m with and that I’m not doing the “most” I can every day with the precious time I’ve been given. I feel like I almost view time as too precious and that if I don’t take advantage of every moment, then I’ll miss out on something big. And when I do have to miss out on an experience I long to be a part of, now that just crushes me.
I absolutely hate feeling left out, which is probably why my number one strength is includer. This can be a good thing, but can also become sinful when I place my value and worth and satisfaction in being able to experience all that I want to all the time. Life just doesn’t work that way, and you know what, this world wasn’t MADE to work that way.
So, of course, God being God and knowing exactly what I need – I open up my devotional today to this:
Of course you haven’t been fulfilled in this world. It’s a sign that you have been designed for a world to come.
And there it was. The conviction smacking me right in the face. Meredith, of course you won’t be completely satisfied here on earth! You were made for something SO much more!! You were born with the desire for eternity in your heart, and nothing in this fallen world will be able to fill that.
All the things that disappoint you now are to remind you that this is not all there is and to cause you to long for the paradise that is to come.
I have a really hard time with this. I expect so much out of my days and my life on earth. I want to make an IMPACT, I want to do more, I want to see change, I want to have this rush of happiness and satisfaction daily that I will seek out whatever I can to find that. And I MUST remember that this world WILL disappoint me. I won’t “feel satisfied” all the time, and I won’t ever ultimately feel the most satisfied that I desire until I am in paradise with my Creator. I want people to view me as this playful, exciting, invigorating gal who gets to have all these experiences, but that is just not what my heart should be craving. All it should be craving is peace.
Just peace. Peace with how I’m doing where I’m doing it. I talked to my best friend this afternoon and she reminded me to show myself grace. Which is the other side of this whole conviction that I’m experiencing is accepting unending grace. Jesus isn’t mad at me. He’s not even frustrated. He’s just grateful that I came back to Him today, admitting all these things.
If you feel like you’re also running and running to find paradise in your every day here on earth, always seeking more for a rush of happiness or to appear like your life is some highlight reel that it’s really not, just know you’re not alone. I’m there with you. And I want to admit that today. I just need to be okay with not always doing the “most.” Not always getting all the experiences. Quite frankly, I just need to be more okay with the disappointment that this world brings. I will never be without hope though, because I know I have the choice to live in the freedom that my savior brings me each day knowing how deeply He loves me.
Live in hope because paradise is surely coming, and stop asking this fallen world to be the paradise it will never be.