"But godliness with contentment is great gain" - 1 Timothy 6:6
This is one of the things God has been instilling in me lately. I've heard this verse hundreds of times, but the "head knowledge" of a Bible verse is being transferred to my heart and my everyday life. And, wow, is this ever a ride for a perfectionist!!
Contentment flies in the face of almost everything about our culture. We are to always be pursuing more - more money, more position, more status, more stuff, etc. We must at all costs experience to the fullest what has been affectionately dubbed "The American Dream". Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Downright patriotic!!
And we're probably not that different from the average American family - planning to buy a house soon, thinking about vehicle upgrades in the future, enjoying "life" and "stuff"... And yet in the midst of this, God is reminding me, chiding me, encouraging me that there is not a "plateau" where I arrive and can/should be content. Contentment is NOW, with what I have and where I live this very minute. Also, contentment is not just "the absence of discontent"; it is truly enjoying life - as is, right now. And let's face it, we see examples all the time that simply the addition of "stuff" does nothing for happiness or contentment!
I love schedules, organization, a clean house, an empty laundry basket, and so on. These things definitely make me feel "content." While I think these are all very important, I'm trying to learn to enjoy the ride. Not just enjoy the fulfilled schedule, the clean house, the empty laundry basket, and the organized closets, but enjoy the journey TO these things. I repeat, I'm trying!
A big thing for me recently...
We are wanting to get in a house with a backyard...SOON. :) I felt a few months ago that it was just a "necessity" for this spring/summer, but we decided we needed a little while longer to be comfortably ready to buy. Yet we are finding ways to let the kids play outside where. we. are! (Imagine that!) Actually, they are both working on farmer's tans! :)
And again, I remind myself - contentment is not based on my circumstances or surroundings. It is a choice I make to enjoy who I have, what I have, and where I am - right now!