Every fiction writer’s dream is to create a character that becomes a worldwide household name. Few authors achieve that kind of success, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one who did. On March 8, 1886, he started writing a story that featured a couple of characters named Sheridan Hope and Ormand Sacker. By the time he finished a month later, he’d changed their names to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.*
Amazingly, Mr. Doyle was more frustrated than pleased by the enormous success of his Sherlock Holmes stories. He thought of them as mere fluff and insisted that they did not reflect his true ability as a writer. He kept producing the stories because both the public demand and the financial rewards were so great, but he never took the delight in them that a million other less fortunate authors would have.
Could it be that you, too, have achieved what you always wanted, but don’t appreciate or enjoy it because of some factor you didn’t envision? Perhaps you’re a woman who dreamed as a girl of being married to a good man that would love you and be faithful to you. But now that you are, you feel frustrated because he’s put on a few pounds, watches too much football, or keeps forgetting to fix that leaky faucet. Or maybe you’re a man who’s working in the field of your boyhood dreams, but can’t enjoy it because you feel underpaid or have an annoying boss.
I find it bitterly ironic that we live in a land of such bounty where so many of us are privileged to see the fulfillment of our lifelong dreams, yet we are still, in the judgment of many, the most discontented people on earth. The painful truth is that nothing will change until we take the advice Solomon gives in Ecclesiastes 6:9. He said, “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.”
Could this simple verse hold the key to a richer, happier life for you?
For further reflection read Philippians 4:11 and 1 Timothy 6:6-10.
*Daniel Stashower, Teller of Tales (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), 75