Being content is related to finding meaning in our lives. An adventure that can sometimes be elusive. Yet, it is an important first step toward fulfilling our God-ordained purpose.
Whether we recognize God’s opportunities for our daily dose of fulfillment or not depends on where we look. Often, we cast our vision too far out and super-impose our plans over God’s, ignoring the message in our moments. This is the source of discontent. Instead, we must pay attention to the little things that bring meaning to our days.
God’s Gift of the Little Things
We have new neighbors. They are a family of five: two parents and three kids. All boys. Ages 12, 6, and 6 months. The 12 year old is an athlete and likes baseball. The 6 year old likes to ride his bike and loves all things baked. The 6 month old likes Momma.
I am tickled that this family is moving in. At the beginning of this past school year when our youngest son and his buddies down the block left for college, the street became too quiet. So when our new neighbors showed up with kids that love to play outside, I was grateful and reminiscent of years gone by. To welcome our new friends, I walked over a basket full of yummy Cinnamon Crumble muffins. ( Ahhh, I can smell them now.) The kids enjoyed consuming the treats and the parents appreciated the gesture. (My understanding is that the parents didn’t act fast enough to actually get to eat any muffins… I did say the kids were boys.)
About a week later the 6 year old, we will call him Mark, knocked on our door and boldly asked if I had any more muffins or anything baking. Fortunately, I had some banana bread ready for my son to take back to campus after a short weekend visit at home…so I happily passed some of the bread along to Mark to share with his family, delighted and amused at his bold request.
It seemed he’d barely been gone, bread in hand, when the next thing I knew he was at the door with a thank you note that clearly his mother had ‘encouraged’ him to prepare. Turns out she was mortified to learn that little Mark had gone begging at my door. The note card that Mark’s mother sent down with him had this message written on the outside.
And on the inside little Mark wrote this…
What a blessing I received! A hand written thank you note and hugs…little boy hugs.
Are You Enjoying the Little Things?
I spent too many of my years in discontent. It seems I was always pursuing something more meaningful. I was very grateful for all my blessings…but it just didn’t seem to be enough. (Hmmm…maybe not so grateful afterall.)
God let me know through scripture, prayer, and conversation with others that nothing would change for me until I chose to be content with my circumstances. Then, I would be ready and He would allow me to move forward. He had a mission for me to complete where He had me and was fine with letting my assignment take longer than I thought necessary. I could either continue to resist the present as I pushed toward my idea of a better future or I could choose to be content and find joy in the little things and daily opportunities He provided for me to let Him shine.
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.
The Apostle Paul, Phil 4:12-13
In the Greek, being content has to do with maturity and life experience and even more, faith in the strength of Christ. Contentment does not come from our desire to do, be, or get more. It does not rest in our own will and power. Contentment is experienced by paying attention to Christ in our moments. And it is in recognition of the little things that constitute our moments that we find meaning in our days.
If you are discontent and seeking a more meaningful life, be like my new friend, Mark.
- Boldly knock on God’s door and present your requests before Him.
- Wait with great expectation and continue to do faithfully what He has given you to do.
- Give thanks for all your blessings out of love, reverence, and obedience.
- Pay attention to and enjoy the little things in the holy moments of your days…things like little boy hugs and a ‘thank you for the banas bred.’
Father, I pray to be joyful always; pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances for I know this is your will for me. As I am faithful in this and pay attention to the moments given me, I know I will be content and find meaning in my days. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Listen to Your HeartSong Here!
Pharrell Williams – Happy (Christian Remix – Adam & Kid)