Monday, November 25, 2013

Providing and Evaluating Your Level of Contentment

We don't always know the how, when, or why people close to us suffer. But, because we know the world suffers, we can be guaranteed that the person next to us (at work, on the bus, or in the pew) has suffered, is suffering, or will suffer and we have no idea how much so. 

Some of the worst sufferings are endured in silence. Ask any soldier, ask any holocaust victim. Everyone suffers to the measure God allows and it is often not for our eyes to see. Sometimes, sadly so, the measure our own foolish choices (or the choices of others) decide our level of suffering for us. What one perceives to be trivial suffering is an earthquake for someone else. So much time can be spent comparing our mountains to their mole hills that we never allow ourselves to be content or happy in this life. 

And maybe, we are not meant to be.

The singular fact is we all suffer and most of it is hidden and we are weak. And, as weak suffering humans, we should do nothing to cause another human more suffering. 

We must constantly crawfish back into our own pond, our own lives and reevaluate our actions and our circumstances and our decision-making in order to find happiness and contentment. This can be guided and kept in check by a daily (nightly) spiritual examination of conscience.

Here is a wonderful article:
http://coffeeteabooksandme.blogspot.com/2013/11/sunday-afternoon-tea_24.html

"I have found in the midst of imperfections, much of the way my life is going depends more on my choices, my attitude, and my outlook than the circumstances of life."

The writer is right: in the mist of our suffering we can choose to either see lack of or opportunities for God's provision.  

It can take years to cultivate a good disposition towards suffering...a faithful disposition...most especially, a forgiving disposition towards suffering.

Least anyone think I'm declaring everyone become super noble; there is no wrong in being angry or hurting or taking proper medication or seeing a therapist if need be or seeking answers. We will hurt, grieve, tear papers, burn pictures, have anxiety, endure attacks of nausea, and seek comfort in times of suffering. Being grateful in the small things and content with God's will does not make any of us less human. These things are all normal human reactions and have them we will.

But in the end, we will have to face God and tell him what was in our hearts even as our bodies were abandoning us and showing how weak we really were (are).

Humility is a great teacher, contentment the great doctor.

God's eye will not be on our weak bodies; He will see something far deeper, far more lasting. He will see what lies at the heart of it all.

Contentment goes a long way. 

We have all been wronged but we should not let these people hold us captive. 

"If one never learns to be happy with a warm house, a hot beverage, cinnamon sugar toast, and a book... instead of a lobster dinner and champagne and the symphony... then true joy may not be possible this side of eternity."

My home is dated and unfashionable but, like this writer, I am perfectly happy to pad around my house in warm fuzzy socks on this cold night and count my small blessings. I ask for nothing more but rejoice in what is given. 

Contentment and gratitude pave a much nicer trek to eternity than wishing on the moon or attempting to grasp an unreachable star.

*****


2 comments:

  1. Lots of food for thought, as always. I loved the last line...and also the toast with cinnamon sugar. :)

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  2. so often your words hit right to the heart of my heavy heart. Today is no different. When I saw the rocks on the chair the "boulders" in my life, a powerful reminder/thank you.

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