Contentment, like most things in our lives, is a choice.
We are humans, so we don’t like to believe that our happiness is in our own hands, but it is. It’s not in our circumstances. And it certainly isn’t wrapped up in others or even in that gift under the tree (no, not even THAT one). It is a choice we make Every. Single. Day.
We say I’ll be happy when I have a better job…
When I make more money…
When I have nicer clothes…
When I’m no longer single…
When…fill in the blank…
But the fact of the matter is each moment we live wishing for “when I have” we waste the moment to enjoy or appreciate what we do have.
Sometimes I look at my sister’s life and I envy her. I think how unfair it is that she got the fairy tale ending at 24 with everything including the white picket fence (ok so it is a brow privacy fence but the concept is solid), a mortgage, doting daughters, even stretch marks.
And it hurts.
Then I remember who I am and what I have become because I didn’t get my fairytale at 24.
With the grace of God I have helped first generation students graduate high school and become productive members of society.
I’ve written novels, published stories, met writers, poets, and politicians.
I’ve gotten grants to travel and study in places I’ve always dreamed of cultivating life-long relationships with amazing people.
I’ve taught teenagers about loving Jesus and themselves even when it seems like no one else does.
I’ve loved and been loved.
And sure I still get jealous sometimes(they have a nicer house, car, clothes etc.) but Contentment IS a CHOICE.
When I wake up, I get out of a bed, in a house, with clean water. I drive to work where I teach English freely to both young men and women. All of which are genuine privileges I often take for granted. This is a broken world, but that doesn’t mean that we have to walk around in around permanent state of surly discontentment. God is good. And thank God I have the opportunity everyday to remember that, to thank Him, and to choose contentment over resentment.