Friday, June 26, 2009

On Being Content.

An attitude adjustment can make a world of difference.

So I've been in the process for learning this for what feels like an eternity. I guess it's only been about 20 some years though.

Lately especially I've been having a pity party for myself. I'll give you an example [or five!]:
"If only I had some good friends here then my life would come together".
(or "...if only my job and home were 30 minutes closer to each other...";
"...I could get into grad school...";
" Mr. Right would walk into my life...";
"...I could find a great church...";
...You get the idea). Doesn't God WANT me to have these things?

I began to feel that perhaps ...
the faint at heart may want to stop here...

God was holding out on me.
Gasp! I know I shouldn't even think such things.
But in my heart I was thinking this as I was out running one morning in the sweltering heat.

When I got back to the house and was doing my devotions that very day, I read Psalm 84:11-12a

For the LORD God is a Sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Indeed the LORD will give what is good.

Then I checked my e-mail. And what did I happen to find?
An acceptance letter to grad school. I laughed at my silliness, and God's sense of humor.
Okay, so I'm starting to get the point.

So I continue to quote this verse to myself over the next few weeks when I start to get frustrated and impatient.

Then on my 50 minute drive home from work yesterday, I thought to myself:
what do I really want?
So off I go listing my wishlist: Apartment, Friends, Church, Mr. Right, grad school, etc.
And then I thought, "so then what would my life look like?"
Would I really be content, or would I want back what I have right now?
If I had a lot of friends would I say to myself, "I wish I had an evening off just to read a book"?,
or if I had an apartment would I say to myself: "I wish I had more time to spend with my family"?
or if I had a "church" on which I was depending for all my spiritual nourishment would I forget to make the time to read my bible, journal and get spiritual nourishment from the resources I have?
Of course I would!! I'm human. I know myself.
And when I'm discontent
my circumstances are not going to change my attitude.
(...I'll just find something else to complain about.)

Somehow this little revelation made the biggest difference for me. Now I see that God really DOES have my best interests in mind. It wasn't an accident that He put me right here. That he put my family in here, and that He is helping me learn patience. And though I don't understand why some things have to take so long, I feel content.
All I can do is hang on to my Savior, my Strength and my Guide.

*Incidentally, even though I thought I wanted to go to grad school right now, I might actually wait another semester for different reasons. And I feel okay with that. :)

(Disclaimer* I do actually know the importance of the fellowship of the Saints and am in no way stating that I intend to float around indefinitely. Let's just say that the whole adjustment process has been draining on many different levels and I feel like I am finally starting to settle in and figure out what I'm doing.)

FYI: In English,
Contentment does not equal happiness. I would say more like PEACE>.