Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On Contentment

The textbook for my online course is Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach.

Yesterday I read till I came to a writing exercise: Pick a title: "On .......... (abstract noun, the first thing that comes to mind). Think for a minute. Write.

This is the fourth day we are stuck in Idaho with no solution to our car problems.
 OK, the use of that word reveals contentment issues.
Why should I  feel stuck ? Because I want to get back home. Because I don't want to mooch indefinitely off the relatives. Because I am running out of clothes to wear. (We left the bags of dirty clothes in the car at the dealer's.) Because I miss the family. Because I want to be back for upcoming events. Because I am bored at times doing the same ole' same ole' every day.
Why should I feel content, even blessed? Because we can stay in a beautiful home with a very welcoming fun family and grow closer to our nephew, wife and kids.  Because the weather is beautiful and warmer every day. Because I can go wogging every day through a lovely area. Because I have time, and more time, to study, write, blog, read... Because I don't have the pressure of producing meals. I can help, join in, do dishes, set the table, all so minor compared to being responsible for everything at home. Meanwhile the daughter is taking care of the homestead, enjoying the upkeep and the little changes, improvements, gardening. I think we will be in for some surprises, whenever we do get home.
Look at that! The positives outweigh the negatives! This is a vacation, not a misfortune.
What does the Bible teach us about the subject of contentment?
The verse that comes to mind is I Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain." In context, it makes reference to those who are looking to godliness as a means to financial gain, as if that could truly satisfy. Not so. Materialism and things are not the answer.
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes gives us an example of this:
'There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
"For whom am I toiling," he asked,
"and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?"
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!'
Again, the context points out another aspect of contentment, and that is companionship.
I am so blessed to have my husband with me and that we share a beautiful oneness.
Interestingly, the exhortation: "...be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." is set in the context of marriage. Is the scripture here implying that greed and sexual immorality are connected? Or are they meant to be two separate subjects?
To wrap this up I will conclude with a line from the first quote: "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
Note to self: find a way to retrieve those bags from the car and do a load of laundry!

1 comment:

SmallTownRunner said...

Or you could just go shopping! (: