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musings from linda 5/31/24

“If ONLY… (you insert the word) THEN  — I could be perfectly and completely CONTENT!!“


How often do we find ourselves thinking this?  If I had just a little more money… maybe a bit more room in the house… a few more nice things… a better job…  a longer vacation... a nicer car…


While any one of those things might provide a bit of fleeting “happiness,”  too often we find just ourselves moving on to the  NEXT  “if - only…” 

CONTENTMENT, on the other hand — meaning  “contained, intact, whole“ — is a state in which we feel complete — within OUR OWN SELF.


We feel happy with what we ALREADY have!  AND — by what we already ARE as a person.


It is the peaceful realization that despite the personal bumps in life and the craziness of the world at large, in our own  SELF — 

  we HAVE enough 

we DO enough  — and most importantly, 

we ARE enough...

Instead of always comparing ourselves to others — or to what others have — or wishing we had a different life (“the grass is always greener” syndrome) — the person who is CONTENT practices mindfulness of the abundance present in life RIGHT NOW — and along with that — GRATITUDE for all of it .  


And the truth is, the more thankful we are RIGHT NOW,  the happier we can be! 

“Living-in-the-future-thinking” which says, “ I will only be happy when I have…“  (you fill in the blank)… is a sure-fire way to sabotage true happiness in the life you are living in this moment.


A wise person once said,  ”RADICAL APPRECIATION of all life’s experiences is the cornerstone to contentment.”


FACT:   We all live within the most exquisite and ever-present blessing of God’s LOVE for each and every one of us — every single moment of every day.

             If — and when — we truly acknowledge and appreciate the reality of THAT,

                     it is then that true CONTENTMENT seeps into our hearts.


Our choir has a new favorite anthem —based upon an old hymn —  which speaks of resting in this amazing LOVE of God…

      “O Love that wilt not let me go,

          I rest my weary soul in thee; 

              I give thee back the life I owe,

                 That in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be...” 

Contemporary composer, Elaine Hagenberg recently composed O LOVE — an exquisite piece of music paired with the text written almost 150 years ago by Scottish minister George Matheson.  As a young man of 20,  George discovered he was going blind and his fiancée called off their engagement.  As his blindness became more profound and facing  increasing challenges, he was most grateful for the devotion and tender care of his oldest sister. When she herself became engaged to be married, he was intensely reminded of his own heartache and loss.  On the eve of her wedding, he penned the words to the hymn  O Love That Wilt Not  Let Me Go.”  

He recalls :  “It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life.  I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than working it out by myself.  I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes …” 

Elaine Hagenberg’s musical interpretation of Matheson’s text beautifully captures the poignancy of what George was feeling. While the dissonances in her anthem remind us of past heartache,  she also uses hopeful ascending  melodies —representing renewed faith and the beautiful promise that “morn shall tearless be….” 

This Sunday, our choir will sing this anthem at NMCC and then again in the afternoon as part of our contribution to the Choir Fest at First Church.


It’s at 4:00 PM — you really won’t want to miss it!!


Click on this link for a preview.


Close your eyes — — and just listen.


May the beauty of the music touch your soul in deep places — And may the message of the words seep into all the corners of your heart. ♥️ 

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