God has really been challenging me to live life contently. This is so tough for me. I am engrossed by the consumerism culture we live in. I constantly find myself thinking about cars I’d like to have, homes I’d like to live in, new gadgets I want, prestigious and high paying jobs I’d love to hold. I want the life every American is claimed to want, but when I take a step back from my constant daydreams of that lifestyle I wonder if that life would really make me happy. If I really had all those things, would I be content? If not, what would it take? Will the next car do it? How about earning more money? How about my next vacation? What will it take?
In the last couple of weeks God has allowed me to experience various highs and lows. About a week and a half ago I was stuck at home sick. I’m a stubborn person when it comes to sickness and typically refuse to stay home from work, but due to feeling pretty bad and a high suspicion of contagiousness I made the choice to stay home from work. I was miserable during this journey of staying home. In the midst of burning fever coming and going, and what felt like a throat full of glass, I found myself having a conversation with God about contentment. Even while I felt horrible, was I willing to be content with God and life? I leave my answer at this: I was challenged.
Of course this is not a new concept. This is exactly the same topic the Great King Solomon of Israel addresses in Ecclesiastes. His conclusion is that despite all life’s pleasures and disappointments God is the only fulfilling thing. There. Now we all have learned the lesson, right?
I certainly have not. Even as I sit on a plane returning from an amazing vacation with family, skiing and witnessing breathtaking views of snow blanketed wilderness I find myself daydreaming about new cars, places to live, more pay, and new gadgets.
So is living in contentment hopeless? Despite my constant daydreaming for more material things, I’m convinced it is not. However, we are all in some sort of process of looking to God for our ultimate contentment. Sometimes we’ll experience that more and sometimes we’ll experience it less, but let’s make the choice to grow. Let’s choose to say no to consumerism. To say that when I get the cool new toy I’ve been saving up for I will not allow myself to be trapped in the allure of being at last temporally satisfied with life. For life is about so much more than that next thing.
So take a couple minutes to ask yourself what it will take…what will it take for you to be satisfied? You may be surprised at the conversation with God that develops.