I spent the productive part of my day trying to organize myself back into sync. It’s been one of those days, a bit off kilter. Nothing serious but out of sorts enough. To be truthful, I actually did not do much organizing. It was more like shuffling and moving things around. The initial question that I asked myself was: what causes discontentment. The answer will not be surprising: boredom, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, wanting more, focusing on the negative or wishing for better options. I’m sure you could add a few of your own. Yet, in pondering further, I thought, what if instead of asking what causes discontentment I ask myself how do I find or become more content. Will increasing contentment be more impactful for me instead of focusing on decreasing discontentment?
The etymology of the word content means “to rest or to be satisfied.” In the Greek “content” means to be sufficient. I heard it said that “it is impossible to strengthen contentment without learning to be grateful for what you already have.” Maybe there is gospel truth and just good wisdom in the old hymn reminding us to “Count Your Blessings – name them one by one.” Counting your blessings moves you toward a life of contentment.
It’s been said that contentment is “understanding at the deepest sense that you’re on the right course, that you’re are living out a life of being who you are called to be.” Contentment is the ability to be at peace with who you are, where you are and what you are doing.
Perhaps some days are just like this and I’m good with that because I know I “rest in” God.
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:11-13
“Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
What do you need?
What are you eating for dinner tonight?
What will help you move towards a life of greater contentment?
Holy God, when there are days like this, with dreary tasks and small strength, keep a song in my heart that reminds me of all my blessings. Give me the desire and the ability to live into who I am called to be. Amen.
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