Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some Good Lookin' Grass:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

I'm on a roller coaster ride with contentment.  Looking back, it seems as though it's a topic that I write about every couple of months.  And the reality of this blog is that though my readers may find themselves getting something out of it- I don't write for them...I write for me. 

It's a place to hash through my struggles and my victories.  A place to give outlet to my thoughts and accountability to my spirituality.  Which means one thing about my frequency of visiting this topic: I wrestle with contentment a lot. 

I'm sure there are those of you out there who can relate.  The cliche, "The grass is always greener on the other side" probably wouldn't exist if this was not a universal struggle.

A couple weeks ago I found myself, once again, in the boxing ring with contentment.  Everyone's grass was looking pretty good right around then.  I found myself daydreaming about where I would rather be and what I would rather be doing. Imagining what it would be like to walk in their shoes.  And slowly but surely, the feelings of discontent and insecurity started sneaking in. 

My negative thoughts offered them a crack in which to seep through and start coating my life with discontent.

I once read a book about the topic of contentment.  One chapter included letters from 3 college friends who were keeping in touch 15 years after graduation.  One was a single, successful business woman.  The other, a stay at home mommy of 3, and the third going back to finish her education since her children were grown and in school. 

The series of letters were essentially a running list of complaints- each woman looking at the lives of her friends as "better than" her own.  The single woman wished she had a family to call her own.  The stay at home mommy wished she was out working, using her degree and making money.  And the third wished she would have already finished her education like her other two friends.  The letters went on and on but ultimately unveiled the discontent in each of their hearts.

The unfortunate thing about that chapter is the fact that, essentially, that becomes real life if we're not careful.  I don't want the letter of my life to be full of wishes and wants.  God has placed me where I am in this season of my life because I am CALLED to be here.  There is purpose traced through every single hour of every single day if I choose to look for it.

At times, that purpose is writing an article for a magazine, counseling clients, or speaking about important topics.  But at other times, that purpose is watching my daughter splatter applesauce all over her face while trying to feed herself, changing a dirty diaper, or loading the dishwasher. 

God's purpose for our lives is in everything, and it can never be calculated by what we are accomplishing on the outside, but on who we are becoming on the inside.  Watching God at work in our lives can never be boring.  Seeing him take our lifeless lump of clay lives and turn them into majestic and beautiful art is a process that unfolds each and everyday...if we will only notice.   

And as we watch this labor of love, and see God's will unfold in our lives, we will find ourselves rejoicing always...and giving thanks continually.  We will find that at the end of our day, this is the only way to find true contentment.   

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