I’ve made a long list of Resolutions for 2015, saved them on a Word Doc, so I can reflect back at the end of the year to see what, if any, I have achieved. They all call for some sort of action or change on my part, and I wonder, does that make me a discontent person?
I’ve actually thought a lot about this lately, since reflecting back, I have let discontentment rule over me like a strict dictator quite frequently throughout my life, and frankly, it is not a comfortable or joyful way of living. When I’ve had moments of total, complete, and satisfying contentment, and have been acutely aware of the fact it is what I am feeling, my heart swells with gratitude and love, and I have to admit, it feels fantastic!
But, I’m also a person who thrives on goals, on having objectives to reach, on transformations and change, so I’m learning to walk the fine line between being content with what I have, who am I at the moment, and striving to make positive change in my life.
What brought these thoughts to the forefront of my mind was a couple of Bible Study Classes I’ve taken at the nearby Church we have been attending, Grace Spring, with Judy W. If you live in West Michigan, then you should definitely take one her classes. She is a wonderful teacher, and I’m always so amazed at how each person can take something so different and personal from the same words in the Bible! How God speaks to each person individually, at the place they are in this time/space, and how enriched I am by my interaction with my classmates. We studied Philippians and Hebrews and several verses about contentment have just stuck with me.
Bottom line, I don’t have to be dissatisfied with myself or where I am in my life to make positive change. I can love me, the people in my life, my circumstances, just as is, but still make that resolution to get in good enough physical condition to run a 5K this spring or to make the changes in our house that suit our taste and personality. I can love all the people in my life for who they are at this moment, even if it is in the middle of adolescence or the dramatic transition of child to adulthood, and still have expectations and dreams for them. I can let go of comparing. I can let go of feeling disappointment in myself in order motivate change in myself. But it has taken some conscious effort on my part. I have to tell the judgy side of myself to shut up or quiet down or as another friend recently put it, to shut her pie hole! Then I can look around and just enjoy today, enjoy the process of reaching for my goals.
I think this may be why God talks about contentment in His Word, because He wants us to live joyful lives, to feel loved as we are. He is a so wise!