Some say that to be content means to be satisfied or happy. While there are certainly aspects of both in my view of contentment, I like the definition that includes “ease of mind.” That evokes a sense of inner peace, don’t you think?
As I’ve seen and heard the topic discussed, it’s been in one of two contexts …
I’m learning that all the “stuff” I thought was important really isn’t, and I’m becoming more comfortable letting it go. I’m less stressed now that I’ve rearranged my priorities and lost some of the mental (and sometimes physical) clutter.
I feel like I’m “behind on life.” The family, education, career isn’t turning out the way I thought it would, and things keep getting in the way. I only wish ____ would happen so I could start living.
The second attitude makes me sad because it takes such a “defeatist” approach to life. In fact, it scares me just a little … because I’ve been there in the past, and it’s not a good feeling … and it hurts to watch people wishing their life away, waiting for Tomorrow.
Tomorrow doesn’t always turn out the way we envision it either.
One day you’re rocking along, planning your future, and the next … everything screeches to a halt. Life as you knew it (whether you liked it or not) is OVER. No warning … just OVER.
It’s in those “screech to a halt” times that we learn a lot about ourselves. Some people break down, and give up. Some people get angry and blame everyone, including God. Some people grow stronger, drawing on their faith in the Creator of the universe, recognizing that there is much they don’t understand, digging deep within themselves to trust … and start again. Experiencing peace in spite of their grieving, devastated spirit.
As I sat alone in my basement last Friday night listening to the virtually non-stop squawking of the Emergency Address System and waiting out the storms all around me, I wondered what Tomorrow would hold. I thought about the “stuff” that is important to me. Even in my year of de-cluttering, I wondered what it would be like if everything were gone. I thought about priorities … and family … and faith.
I am so thankful that through my life’s many “screech to a halt” moments, my faith has grown stronger. I’m thankful that when I was a young child I had parents who told me about God’s love … and lived it in front of me … and still do. I’m thankful that Jesus loves me enough to die for me — and for you — when we’ve done nothing to deserve such a lavish gift.
He’s amazingly generous like that …
but it may be new to you …
I’m here for you.