Thursday, August 24, 2006

Contentment

Why is it so hard to grasp sometimes? Most of us have seasons in our lives where we perpetually are NOT content. We're waiting for life to slow down, for things to get quieter, for the kids to get to the next stage, for the next vacation, the next project to be over. Then, we tell ourselves, THEN we'll be content. But, we find ourselves back in the waiting game again.

I'm not talking about contentment with things and acquiring wealth. Just contentment with life in general. Life is so busy, so hectic, we are just waiting for it to slow down, but we lack the ability to be content in the current circumstances.

Paul said, "11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13)

In the book of Job, it is written, "If they obey and serve him [God], they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment." (Job 36:11)

Proverbs 19:23 reads: "The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble."

My conclusion is that contentment takes concentration. We must make ourselves slow down enough to stop and consider our circumstances and look heavenward for our perspective, to "stop and smell the roses", so to speak. When we are bogged down by the poopy diapers, wishing the toddler could use the potty, let's look at her little smile, and how she "talks" to you while you're changing her. When that deadline is looming on that big stack of paperwork at the office, and you've got a papercut for the 13th time today, consider how blessed it is to have an occupation, how nice it is to have lunch with colleagues. When you're stuck in traffic for an hour again, listen to that talk radio station you never get to hear, that Christian radio broadcast you miss most of the time.

I think you can see where I'm going with this. The secret of contentment is to change our mindset, to live in the moment, to squeeze out the goodness of each day--thankfully, prayerfully consider our situations and the good in them. We can still look forward to the future, even to hope it will be better than today, but let's not forget to look forward to today, because before we know it, we'll be asking, "Where did it go?" We'll be saying, "If only I could go back to yesterday...".

1 comment:

Magnanimity said...

Yup.

and then I reach contentment and get afraid that I'm not being grown or stretched enough, or am becoming apathetic and I ASK to be stirred up!

Crazy.

Yes, thanksgiving and appreciation in the moment HAVE to be the key to utter contentment. Not apathy, but enjoying life, not letting it get you down.

Man, you're deep!