How about a Round of the Applause for Contentment

April 1, 2008

            Sometimes I wonder if we try too hard.  If we go through life always striving to be better people, always pushing into new levels with God, always looking for the new “thing”; I wonder if we will get to the end and realize we kinda missed it.  That in our attempts to go to new depths with God, we missed out on where he had us at the time.  That while we were struggling to become better people we really became quite self-centered.

            I feel like life will never be enjoyed unless it can be enjoyed now.  I’ve found that desire very rarely leads to contentment and most often just leads to more desire.  And I don’t think enough is said for contentment these days, in both the secular and church worlds.  The secular world tells me I need to make more money, the church tells me I need to become a better person, both leave me unhappy where I am.  Both tell me I’m not good enough right now, but neither tell me when enough will be enough.

            I know there will be times when intense spiritual growth is meant to happen, when we are meant to struggle forward into new places with God; A desert if you will.  But I don’t think our lives are meant to be one desert after another. I think I remember Jesus saying something about the “burden being light”.  And I, personally, would like to live lightly.  I would like to enjoy my life, enjoy my relationship with God and be content with what I’ve been given; spiritually and materially.

            So how about a round of applause for contentment?  Here’s to being happy where I am at, and so thankful for everything I’ve been given.  Here’s to wearing flip flops on sunny days, and sometimes reading Emily Dickinson instead of the Bible.  Here’s to thanking God when I wake up and living in grace instead of burden.

Hear Hear.  

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7 Responses to “How about a Round of the Applause for Contentment”

  1. Steve Says:

    Miller Lite: Good call bro. good call. I really enjoyed this post.

  2. gbeddingfield Says:

    Nice post, man.

    When looking through books of poetry, I was trying to reach for the heavy-hitters. Stuff like T. S. Elliot, The Brownings, etc. I couldn’t get interested in them. I was intentionally avoiding Dickenson because I alreadly like her so much.

    But I finally picked up a volume of her work. From the very first poem, an involuntary grin appeared on my face. I love her poems.

  3. janessica Says:

    T.S. Who-lliot?

    But seriously…I concur.

  4. Brett Says:

    Theres alot of truth in what you are saying Mike. Although it is super difficult for me to wrap my mind around it having grown up in the American church culture.

  5. joelmw Says:

    Man, today, even for all of my spouting off about sabbath, I needed this. Thanks.

    And I vote we just go ahead and add Dickinson to the canon.

  6. gbeddingfield Says:

    @Joel: We can’t add Dickinson to the canon. Then that screw up Mike’s either-or thing. 😉

  7. Joel Says:

    @Gabe: Which is precisely what I meant to do, of course, and especially considering that “the Bible,” as we know it, is Greecey and penal and rational and orderly and absent God at play and man at rest, which the real Bible isn’t, which is why such drastic action is necessary. 🙂

    Dickinson is just who we need to help us remember that God has a sense of humor and He’s probably most messing with us when we’re sure He’s pissed and about to boot us off the boat. Of course, He might be pissed and He might boot us off the boat, but I’m betting He’d be laughing and He’d be there in the water to meet us.

    I’ve been saying, “Yeah, that’s what I meant” a lot lately, haven’t I? Maybe I’m swimming . . . or not. Which reminds me that I need to be blogging and not just clogging the blogs of decent and productive folks.


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