“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 tiny 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 some measure 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. Our desires are bound by what we ALREADY have … and even more, 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 in life RIGHT NOW — and along with that — GRATITUDE for all of it.
And the truth is, the more thankful we are in the PRESENT, the happier we can be.
In fact, living in the “future” — thinking “I will only be happy when I have…” — is a sure-fire way to sabotage true happiness in the life we are living in this moment. As 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 THAT, it is then that true CONTENTMENT seeps into our hearts.
Our choir has been learning a beautiful new anthem based upon an old hymn which touches upon this truth:
“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…”
In a few weeks, choir rehearsals will resume and when we have accomplished learning contemporary composer Elaine Hagenberg’s lovely interpretation of this text, we will share it with you all in Sunday worship!
Meanwhile, click here to listen — and allow the beauty of its message into your heart…