Posts Tagged ‘being content’

The disparity between what I want and what I get can be uncomfortable for me.

I have this, I want that — ah.

This morning, another option occurs to me.

This morning, I open my bag of steel-cut oatmeal and put my nose down to top and, ah — a fresh, oaty, grain-kissed aroma rises to greet me.

My wife pushes the button on my coffee maker and ah —  a roasted, nutty, rich java fragrance wafts through the kitchen and surrounds me.

I go out to my backyard patio, which this summer is dressed in green lawn and yellow flowers and silver pond water and sit with my coffee and read the proverbs of King Solomon and, ah — an emotionally-energizing and rationally-enriching concept passes through my frontal lobe.

Wisdom has the sweet smell of contentment in it.

To reach for my cup, to walk to my gardern, to read my wisdom literature, to sit quietly in my garden and reflect —  this is a present-tense good that quashes that ubiquitous, unrelenting universal push for more.

It is enough for me in this moment to be able to walk, to be able to reach, to be able to taste and smell, to be able to sit quietly. It is enough and more than enough in the morning to have someone else in the kitchen to start my coffee for me.

There will be time, in the push and shove of time, for the working out of my good dreams and passionate visions.

But for now, the simple, gentle movements of the morning,  with someone who loves me, far removed from the bluster and press of my daily ambition — so frequently fraught with stress and anxiety — these are most beautiful, refreshing and precious.

“Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” 

 Ben Franklin

It’s hard to get the contentment thing right, but we want to, for being content is at the heart of being happy. Being content is the highest form of being rich.

So how can we be more content?

To move forward in contentment, first we must come to understand the moment, each moment. If the moment asks for someone  to be helped, then it is not the time to be content with the status quo, and we won’t really be content until we do something.

I helped a friend obtain a trusted counselor last week. Looking back, I am content. I saw that she absolutely needed someone to unburden her soul too. It was unacceptable for me to do nothing. I am content, having done something.

Each moment asks for something. If the moment begs for art, then it is unacceptable to be content with utility. I put up several new, beautiful lights in my home this week. They glow with a warm, soft beauty in the dinning room and kitchen nook. I am content with them. Nothing more is needed there.

Recently I met with a friend to discuss money. We determined needs, we explored sources of income, we made plans to prosper. We applied knowledge to problems and found solutions.

If the moment begs for knowledge, it is unacceptable to be content with ignorance. But what then? After addressing need, we are ourselve in need. The moment then requests, rest.

And if the moment asks for rest, then it is unacceptable to push anymore. Driven isn’t wise when our bodies are tired. Driven isn’t called for after we have just enjoyed a success. Hungry for more, at some point, should be laid aside when we have had enough.

What is called for after success is  contentment, the contentment found in celebration and rest. “Just one more thing” after “one more thing” is a fast and furious route to too many crazy things ad nauseum, but contentment is it’s own reward.

And so we need to learn to exercise contentment  everyday.

Content is what we need to be at night, when all that can be done has been done.

Content is what we need to be at the end of the day, when what has been given is all that will be given.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” That is to say, the content have learned to accept what God has allowed.

Being content is what makes poor men rich and rich men richer.