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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Contentment Part 1

This is one of the 'great' themes of my life - Contentment. If there is any subject that I like to ponder, speak on, and write about it is this. I intend to write more on it here on this blog.

Sixteen catalogues sit on my desktop beckoning me to peruse their contents and patiently wait for my unidivided attention. From their flimsy and glossy pages, plastic and perfectly touched-up models smile at me – begging me to consider their wares. Flashy smiles with artificially whitened teeth demurely point to the lack of lustre of my own not-so-pearly whites. “Why do these companies waste so many trees and so much money on postage just to pollute my mailbox with more junk for the recycling?” I think to myself. The struggle against discontent mounts with every new ad-packet or sale brochure. Coupons make it difficult to resist the urge to splurge on the latest fashions, accessories or novelties.

No wonder discontent is so quick to set in and take root in my life. No wonder my fight against it intensifies to the point of exhaustion and a feeling of defeat - when a subtle belief sets in that if I buy this new sweater or that new shelf my life will take on a whole new ‘sparkle’. This is not about marketing or the advertising industry. It is about so much more: the heart of discontent that slides down the slippery slope of doubt that complete fulfillment can be found in Christ.

In analyzing my own tendency to forget the eternal riches of my heavenly blessings, I realize just how weak and susceptible I am to the lures of this glitzy world. You’d never know it by meeting me – or even by spending time with me in my home. You’d probably say I’m pretty successful at weeding out worldliness and materialistic passions. You’d think I was more spiritual than the rest and that my ‘frugal’ lifestyle (frugal only by comparison to those less frugal than I am!) makes it seem that I am immune to the tangible frustrations of stuff. But beneath the surface, if I am honest with the unsettling reality of my own heart, I confess that I battle against the pull of the world on my longings, and my very being. Discontent in the life of the believer is a very serious problem.

As we look into this subject may we honestly, willingly open our own hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit in calling us to intimacy with the God that deeply satisfies. May our hearts cry out, “He is enough for me. He is all I need.” As we take this journey together, perhaps we will eventually be able to open our closet doors and confidently say, “I have enough. Thank you Lord, for all that You have provided for me, above and beyond my needs.” Let us then turn from a heart of discontent to a heart of hunger and thirst for deeper intimacy with God.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes spiritual disciplines begin with very practical, physical action steps. A practical solution I found: subscribe to a service that removes your name and address from catalog mailing lists: www.catalogchoice.org. No more Domestications or Coldwater Creek to show me what I would have if I were more successful, wealthy, or cool. Another: put catalogs and unsolicited mailers in the recycling bin on the way from the mailbox so they never make it to my desktop. Now, these practices will not automatically turn my eyes to Christ, obviously, but they are quite successful in turning my eyes and aspirations away from a great number of potential detractors.

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