Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Contentment Mêlée

It is around midnight on Saturday night and I am struggling with a lesson I’ve written/edited/read/re-read dozens of times on being content. When I go through it the first few thoughts that enter my mind concerns what I want. A new car – sure, how about a new Accord or Camry or 300Z! A new house – sure, how about a five-bedroom home closer to work and friends. A new TV – sure, how about a 60” plasma for the living room and a 32” LCD for the bedroom. Cable TV & home internet – why not, everyone else we know seems to have it and it sure would be nice to watch all the college football games & Monday Night Football too… and therein lies my problem, stuff sure does sound good.

There are many good things out there to be had. I have just listed a few, but there are so much more. Did I mention I also want a gym membership so I can get my hind parts back in shape?

But this land of desires is not what Christ has called me too! He has not called me to want more and more, and constantly focus on what I do not have in lieu of what I do have. The truth is I am blessed.

God has given me a wife who is kinder, sweeter, Godly, and more forgiving than you could possibly imagine. God has given me the cutest girl in the whole wide world, and a total stud athlete of a son (he is 5 ½ months old). God has given us a wonderful house, which meets our needs and then some… in fact, it is a nicer house than I ever thought I would have when I surrendered to the ministry. God has given my family two cars, and not just cars but Hondas, which are dependable and high quality vehicles. God has given me (literally on this one) a great TV that did not cost me a penny, it is not HD, but He provided a converter box for me for less than $10 out of pocket thanks to the government issued $40 coupon. These are just a few of my many blessings!

With all these blessing, why would I not be content? Why would I think about wanting more? And am I really content at all? By content, I mean truly content!

What God is teaching me is that it is impossible (at least for me) to be content without being fully content. If I am not content with what possessions I have, what is next? Will I not be content with my possessions, my wife, or my career? Will I spend my life looking over my shoulder at what could have been if I would have done something different, made different choices, or wasting it imagining scenarios that are at best disillusioned fantasy? What I know is that I do not to live a life of discontent. I do not want to play the “what-if” game, and I do not want to look towards something I don’t have when I can enjoy what I do have.

My hope is to be more like Paul when he wrote, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:11-13). That is true contentment, and that is what I want to truly feel.

If you read this, please feel free to question your own contentment, but please pray for me as well. Pray that this would not be hollow statements or desires. Pray that I would be happy where I am and with what I have. Pray that God would guard my heart and keep me from wandering down a path that need not be visited. Pray that my friends and accountability partners would point me in the right direction and steer me from a wayward mind. In all that I have been through, I simply do not want to find myself in a point of discontent, because I am far better off than I deserve to be!

Dear Lord God,

You are so good to me! Thank you so much for the blessings you have given to me. Thank you for my wife, beautiful children, wonderful church-family, possessions you have entrusted to me, friends and family. I want to live a life that shows gratitude for your blessings on my life. May you give me the wisdom and strength to make contentment my state of being regardless my circumstance. Help me to live a life that reflects the glory of Christ in my heart and in my life. Overflow from me into those I come in contact with I humbly pray in Jesus name.

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