Friday, September 27, 2013

Countertops and contentment

And he said to them, " content with your wages." (Luke 3:14 NASB)

Yesterday, my family was having a group text chat, and getting sillier by the minute. My nephew asked an interesting question. "Where would y'all choose to be if you could be in three places at once (with one being work) and what would you be doing in said locales?" I knew my sister would want to be at the beach. She loves having sand between her toes. My first thought was "wherever Ryan (my son) is" but, not wanting to appear too mushy, I held back on that.  My very predictable answer was "at home and at home". I love being at home. I don't mind if a thousand people drop by, but I love being right here on the farm. My niece had a good answer. "Watching my kids doing whatever they are doing". The conversation started me thinking about contentment... Being satisfied and at peace with what you have and where you are.

The soldiers in the crowd listening to John wanted to know how they could "bring forth fruit in keeping with righteousness". John basically said, "Don't steal, don't lie, and be content."  It sounds like being content is an action you choose to do, doesn't it?  That's because it is. Being discontented and wanting more, more, more, or always wanting something different or new is not just inconvenient and hard on the pocketbook. It's sin and it can be a habit that becomes a gateway for even more sin.

So... How do you choose to be content? It starts with a grateful heart. Remember that old song, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one"?  That is exactly what we need to do.

Sometimes I look at my kitchen countertops and think, " They need to be updated." My Formica countertops are not trendy, cool, or in style. I know all that.  They serve the purpose, though, and the only real reason to replace them is my discontent. I'm not sure that reason will be very pleasing to God, so I'm holding on to the Formica for now.

As I sit here looking around my home office, I am stunned by all God has provided for me. His generosity knows no bounds.  How selfish it would be for me to complain and be discontented about anything.  I live in a veritable garden. I awaken to a symphony of song birds and retire in the evening to the songs of the night. There is food on my table and a roof over my head. My loved ones are healthy and safe. I have a great job that I truly love. What do I have to be discontented about? Nothing. Nothing at all.

The next line in that "count your blessings" song goes like this. "And it will surprise you what The Lord has done!"  That's the truth. Today, choose contentment and pray that we and our loved ones will not only choose contentment but also recognize how many blessings God has given us.