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  • jfischer207

con·tent·ment /kənˈtentmənt/ noun

con·tent·ment /kənˈtentmənt/ noun

definition - a state of fullfulment and satisfaction.

Am I the only one who finds contentment elusive?

Am I the only who is drawn into our culture of “more…more…more”?

Am I the only one who wrestles with discontentment?

No, I am not. And neither are you.

People throughout history have expressed sorrow over a lack of contentment.

Shakespeare reflects this through his character Gloucester when in the play Richard III he famously says “Now is the winter of our discontent”.

More recently, the musical artist Don Henley voices this in his song the End of the Innocence;

What are those voices outside love's open door

Make us throw off our contentment

And beg for something more?

I find it wearisome to live without contentment. And I don’t find an easy path to it. There are many articles, studies, and books about finding contentment with suggestions like practice gratitude and don’t compare yourself to others. These can be helpful but don’t seem to go very deep.

In 1 Timothy 6 there is this short little verse “But godliness with contentment is great gain”. This truth is sandwiched between the writer Paul, first, hammering people who are pursuing prominence & position, and second, hammering people who are pursuing money & possession. I understand the destructive power of running after prominence and possessions. It is never ending…never enough. Exhausting!

Conceptually I understand that “godliness with contentment is GREAT gain”. Yet, I wrestle with how to live in contentment. By this time in my life I have pretty well heard ALL the Christian clichés on how to be content. :/

Perhaps the most common is “just trust God”. It has become a cliché AND is hard to argue with. Certainly trusting in the goodness, wisdom, justice, and love of God would help me. Yet, I find it hard to live there consistently.

Most of us have seen the toddler who is beginning to venture out from their parent. She/he will explore a new space and then run back to mom or dad. Then the child may go a little further before running back. Or may look at his/her parent for reassurance. Developmental psychologist call this “refueling”.

I wonder if this is what I must do to live a more contented life; constantly running back to the Father. Every time I am uncertain. Every time I fall on my face. Every time I have an accomplishment. Running back for grounding, encouragement, and celebration.

Running and running and running to God.

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