There seems to be many people who are running around searching for something which makes them feel good. The travel to places which are beautiful, they go to sports arenas and watch football games and baseball games, some go to race tracks and watch professional drivers run around in circles. Many go on trips called vacations to places that they do not live, to see things for a few days and live there for those few days, sometimes in the lap of luxury. Then what?
You come home. The excitement and the newness of living has worn off. You are sitting in a house, a home, with the same people who went on the vacation but..something is missing. You feel restless, unsatisfied, nervous, anxious, what do you do? Many who can afford to will be off on another trip, somewhere. Anywhere but at home, in a place that is boring and uninteresting.
Contentment is hard to find, unless you have allowed it to find you first. Contentment is a state of mind where you know where you belong and to whom you belong. You don’t have to be married to be content, but it doesn’t hurt! Paul wrote “I have learned to be content in whatever state I find myself in” Philippians 4:11 , wouldn’t it be great if we could all find that place?
Contentment, what is important to you, these two are not exclusive, they are the same. Have you found your place, your “happy place”, the place where you are content and fulfilled with where you are and who you are? Sadly, some people never find that place. Many search for it their entire lives and don’t realize it until they are on their death-bed. By then, it’s too late to enjoy it. I see it in many of my friend’s lives and some of my classmate’s lives as well. Over the years I have watched many of them chase after something which is elusive like a puff of smoke.
A few have found it, but some are still looking even after their children are grown and they are retired from their jobs. Why? Your job doesn’t usually give you contentment and sometimes neither does your family. It seems that many people are content until one or the other is gone, the job or the family and children. Then what do you do?
We identify with our jobs or our family during the productive years of our lives and then when we get to a point, whether young or middle-aged or past 65, where we have the option or maybe we have been forced to “retire” from work, we find that our identity was our contentment. Now that we are past the point of being productive in work or raising a family, life is a big question mark now. Who am I? What do I do now?
Seek out your Savior! If you have not done this during your so-called “productive years”, then truly you need to make it a point to do it today! Why? Because, that place where you have placed your contented feelings during your career or while raising a family is now empty. It was supposed to contain the Holy Spirit all along! Ask Jesus to come in and clean out the space which has been occupied by life and all of its busyness and place His Spirit in there!
That is where Paul got his contentment from. He was a murdering, hunter of the followers of “the Way”, until Jesus stopped him and got in his face. If you have felt the call of Jesus, but you have pushed Him aside, it isn’t too late. Seek Him out in scripture and in a real Bible teaching church, then ask Him to come into your life and clean out the cobwebs and the left over stuff from your life. When He does, you should begin to study and read His Word!
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t understood it before, with His Spirit helping you, the meanings will be clearer. If you can’t grasp something that the Bible says, ask Jesus to make it plain to you so you can.
Then, the things which are important will rearrange themselves and begin to line up from His perspective and your perspective will be lined up with His. That is contentment and being in that place is more rewarding than any “vacation” or any amount of fun that you could have before. I don’t mean that you have to stop doing those things, just keep your eyes focused on Jesus first. Take Him with you, learn to love things from His point of view. He is the Creator, so enjoy His creation, and when you do it in that order…contentment will come to live with you.