Tag Archives: being content

The Art of Contentment

Vern appeared perfectly content. After breakfast had been served, he went for his morning walk around the neighborhood. He spotted a deer in the distance and pulled tightly on the leash when another larger dog came into view. But now that he was home, Vern had nothing else on his agenda but to do a little relaxing before taking a short nap.

Life for Vern is light and free of burdens. Not so much for all of us humans. All of us have concerns weighing on us. Covid has impacted all of us in our own unique way. And if it isn’t this nasty virus on the top of our minds, then it must be the political craziness that stirs all around us. And the list can go on and on….

So I was reflecting on Jesus and if he was present today what he would be talking about and doing with his time. And as I studied what he talked about and what he did, I was a little surprised. Jesus never discussed politics nor did he get involved in heavy discussions about the way the Romans were treating the people of the day.

Instead, Jesus focused on the kingdom of God. He spoke in parables to the masses that had come to him for hope. He healed people and removed demons. He raised people from the dead and fed thousands with only a loaf and a couple of fish.

Jesus saw our inner needs being far more important than all the stuff swirling around. And I believe if he was here today, he would say exactly what he said over two thousand years ago. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Vern has found a cool spot near Bee and is enjoying a moment of tossing around on the rug. With no cares or worries, this little dog has a lot to teach me. When I want to place the afflictions of the day upon my back, I need to look down at my four legged friends and remember the one who is always there to take on my burdens.

The Promise of the Present

Carl was clearly upset. Even though he wanted the spot in front of the fire, he didn’t want his sister Bee to occupy his place on the sofa. She looked too comfortable and he didn’t like it. He should be occupying the space that she now claimed as her own.img_4878

Carl is no stranger to jealousy. Many times in the years that he has lived in our home, he has displayed a streak of envy towards Bee. It has been very difficult for him to see the benefit of the space he currently occupies. Too many times, Carl would rather be somewhere else.

How often do we want to be somewhere else in our lives? When I was young, I wanted to be older. When I was single, I wanted to be married. When I didn’t have a child, I wanted one. And the list goes on and on.

God only promises us the present. It is His gift to us. Whatever our present situation is, is what He wants us to be grateful for. 2 Peter 3:8 states, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

God is not bound in time. He knows our future and our past. He understands our desires and needs. Most importantly, He wants us to cherish the moments and situations that we are presently experiencing. Too often, we spend too much time focused on being out of a situation that we are in.  This mindset can only rob us of the gift of the present.

Carl will probably never understand the value of being content in his present situation. He will continue to desire what he doesn’t have, particularly when it involves his sister Bee. But hopefully over time, he will see the blessings that he has been given, no matter where he is lying.img_4879