Monday, April 09, 2007
Simon struggles with contentment. When Jonah finishes his food first and asks for more (Jonah eats much faster), Simon asks for more too. He is not content with what he has, he thinks he needs more. He sees Jonah getting more food and suddenly the food he has (exactly the same, just a little less)is not good enough anymore. He wants what Jonah has.
Simon is not the only one who struggles with contentment. Confession time: I do too! I look around my house, see the "flaws" and want to fix them. I go shopping and see a myriad of things I want. I wish I had more money to buy new furniture. My contentment is not limited to material things. I wish my kids would obey more and cry less. I wish my hair looked better than it does. I wish my face looked better than it does. Can anyone else relate?!
Paul learned the secret. In Philippians 4:11-12 (NLT) he said "for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." How did he do it?
I think a big part of it was that Paul had an eternal perspective. He knew how fleeting this world is (and the things in it). He believed God would take care of him. He was thankful for what he had. And, he was too busy doing what God had called him to do to spend time thinking about what he was "lacking."
When Simon wants more, I sometimes reply,"You have plenty child - take care of what you have, then maybe I will give you more. Quit comparing yourself with your brother, I will take care of your needs as well as his in my time. Be thankful and be content."
Maybe I should take my own advice.