Were you able to see The Five Year Engagement yet? I have a thing for Emily Blunt, I think, so that was our weekend event last Saturday.
Violet (Blunt) is a Psychology major and gets accepted into a program in Michigan. (It's possible my thing for her is that I too am a Psychology major and I almost ended up in cold, snowy Michigan.. :S) Anyway, she decided to perform a study on a few random people that includes a viewing of a depressing movie (The Notebook) and a box of old, stale donuts. The key here is to let the group know that a brand new, warm box of donuts will arrive in twenty-or-so minutes. Then, you watch said subjects to see who eats the stale donuts anyway.
Later in the movie, Tom (Jason Segel) is dressed in a bunny-onesie, covered in dirt and a bad beard, and he reaches for the old donuts. It stuns Violet to see that Tom has really gone that far over the edge to eat an old donut. She explains to Tom that most people who ate the old donuts were people with trauma, emotional disorders, divorce, abuse, neglect, etc, just to say that Tom must not be "emotionally together" enough to get married. Tom's response is loud and angry;
"Why would I wait for something that might never come? Why wouldn't I just take what I can get right now. They tasted good enough--they were good enough for right now!"
About 42 minutes later, Violet herself is eating from the box of donuts after their intense breakup, her realization that her new boyfriend is a dirt bag, and the idea that her career didn't sky-rocket in the ways she had hoped.
I think Tom makes a valid point. How often do we take what we can get because it's here right now, and there's really no guarantee for something different to come? Jesus never said, "Oh you'll see, I'll give you all those things you hope for. Everything you could ever want, I'll have that order up in a jiffy." We've never been promised the life like our neighbors, the riches like Mr. Zuckerberg, or the fame of Jennifer Aniston, so we begin to feel like we've got to do everything else in life to enjoy the smidgen of goodness we do get.
The other point is that we all reach for that old, stale, greasy box of donuts. We all have those days where the good enough is all we have to reach for. It gets too hard to wait until the good things really do come that we think we've got to settle for all we have right now. We are all somehow emotionally damaged because the life we were created for was immediately tarnished the day we were born into this world. People will disappoint, events won't occur, tragedies will, and all the things your heart desires won't come to be with the snap of a finger. (Readers beware, Facebook is a devilish tool to make you think that some people have it all together.) I myself wasn't emotionally put together enough to be married, and I doubt I ever would have been before the age of 80. (Maybe by then it just won't matter...)
All of this to tell you that sometimes you've just gotta hang on, even if you're unsure that good things will ever come again. I'm not saying stay in abusive relationships, never put up a boundary against bad people, let yourself be a doormat to others, or suffer because people mistreat you. What I am saying is don't lose all the hope you've got by going for what's only good for right now.
13 My child,[a] eat honey, for it is good,
and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul.
If you find it, you will have a bright future,
and your hopes will not be cut short.
Proverbs 24: 13-14
It's not guarantee that we keep moving on, it's the hope of a brighter future. And that is something we have been promised.