Discontentment is such a frequent emotion isn’t it? It shows itself as either frustration or longing, emerging almost daily in some area of our souls.
I was struck by this while drinking my morning coffee, looking around our lovely living room at a new painting I just hung above our mantel, wondering if I made the right decision on it, then deciding to LET GO and ENJOY.
I want to drink in what I have and curb the insatiable hungers that never seem to subside. Sometimes privilege is the problem. We CAN have more so we go get more, running after new things vs. celebrating old things, and by old I don’t mean out-of-date. Maybe “familiar” is the better word.
Our culture doesn’t help, fanning appetites into flame so we go out and buy. New lipsticks, purses, pillows are my latest crave. Nothing wrong with any of them, but they sure won’t satisfy.
A new large building started going up a few months ago near our home. We were glad to see this plot of land finally developed. Maybe a new restaurant or coffee shop? We could use something like this closer by. But then the sign went up — Self-Storage 55, with compartments of every size, a vast complex of modern caves for people to store stuff.
Why would anyone rent a storage place for things that don’t fit in their home? I’m sure there are good reasons, but I can’t get away from the fact that we have so much we never use, and still long for more.
So what’s a realistic remedy? Recalibrating focus is probably the best place to start. Aligning heart, mind, and time on bigger goals, those projects and people that need investment, a “budget-for-the-mind” so to speak, with boundaries and permission that are pre-planned vs. gut-expressed.
This discipline of contentment is more about choice than feeling. Deciding that what we have IS enough, celebrating the now vs. longing for the later.
I’ve had seasons in life with barely enough to get by, other seasons where there’s leftovers. Interestingly, it’s all felt pretty much the same. And joy is most dominant when I’m a channel for giving it away.
This verse is a great plum line for the unending challenge toward contentment…
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Contentment is a learned art and one we practice. I’m on a mission for it, how about you?