ronniemcbrayer300 brownsKENTUCKY (9/8/13) - “Maybe it’s time for you to settle down.” Those were my words to a friend who was seeking a bit of help with his unhappy life. It’s not that his life was an out-and-out disaster. He had all the trappings of contentment: A good job, a beautiful wife and family, a comfortable home, and a bright future. Still, he wasn’t happy.

Truth be told, this was no new phenomena. I had never known him to be happy for terribly long. He didn’t suffer from hopelessness, depression, or despair. He simply wanted something better. He was always chasing some utopia created in his mind – the “perfect life” he called it – never recognizing that the life he had was already pretty darn close to perfect.

My friend isn’t alone in his quest for a mythical Shangri-La. With places to go, people to see, kingdoms to conquer, mountains to climb, parties to crash, and horizons to reach, any advice resembling “settle down” is quickly disregarded by the strivers and competitors of the world. But settling might be the very path to the life they are seeking.

See, the person who always wants to be some place better, never lives right where they are. The person who is always looking for Mr. or Ms. Perfect is blind to the remarkable and beautiful persons that surround them. The person who never has enough, never gets around to enjoying what they do have. They never settle in to live, appreciate, or to love the life that they have been richly blessed with.

To this end, there is a familiar but enlightening parable about an American investor who takes a vacation to the Pacific coast of Mexico. One morning the investor meets a local fisherman carrying a string of the most beautiful fish the American has ever seen. He strikes up a conversation with the angler and discovers that the man has a simple daily routine.

He gets up early to fish, returns to shore to sell his catch at the market, goes home to play with his children, takes a siesta with his wife, and then strolls into the village each evening where he nips cerveza and plays guitar with his friends.

The American scoffed. “Listen,” he said, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I can help you. If you spent more time fishing, with the proceeds you could then buy a bigger boat. With the success of the bigger boat you could then buy several boats, until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing vessels.

“Instead of selling your small catch to the market, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, the processing, and distribution. You could move to the city, and leave this smelly beachside dock all together.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But seňor, what then?” The American laughed and said, “Here’s the best part! When the time is right you announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. Then you could retire, move to the coast, fish early in the morning, play with your children, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village each evening where you could drink cerveza and play guitar with your friends.”

No, this isn’t an easy lesson to learn, but there comes a point where one must accept the life he or she has in order to be happy. That’s not my attempt to squash dreams, to pour water on someone’s ambitious fire, or excuse a person’s refusal to make life’s necessary changes. Simply put, there is a big difference between grasping for a utopian mirage, and actually living out and working for a life that can be a peaceful, gratifying, fulfilling oasis.

That life – a real, satisfying, happy life – can be yours right here, right now, if you will settle down, settle in, and live it; because at this moment, you are already where you need to be. You might be the only one who doesn’t know it yet.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

HCHS Teacher Receives Award for Humanitarian Work

HENDERSON, Ky. (4/17/15) — On Monday, April 13, 2015, Laura Freeman, member of the Henderson Breakfast Lions Club and… Read More

Lady Colonels Shut Out Hancock County

HENDERSON, Ky. (4/17/15) — Host Henderson County limited Hancock County to three hits and pulled away to win 3-0 in a… Read More

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6196

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 17, 2015 5390

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 14, 2015 4992

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 3918

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 16, 2015 3380

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

March 18, 2015 10073

UPDATE: Hanson Man Located in Henderson, Taken to…

by Trooper Stu Recke
April 02, 2015 8461

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 17, 2015 5390

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 18, 2015 3918

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 17, 2015 1273

Madisonville Police Reports Released

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 17, 2015 1227

Two Charged in Connection with Powderly Firearms…

by SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 1105

Police Officers Building Up Community by Helping…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 1016

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 936

MPD Offers Advice On Prom, Underage Drinking

by Lt. Billy Poe
April 17, 2015 890

'The Bidding is On' at Annual Library Auction

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 715

Free Seedling Plantings Available While Supplies…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 634

Brown Pitches Baseball to Series Opener over…

by UK Athletics