Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Contentment

True to form this summer, the forecast posted Saturday has proven to be incorrect. It rained Sunday morning. It rained Monday evening. We'll see about Tuesday.

There isn't much room for more water here. Lakes are full or overflowing. Yards are saturated. Creeks look like rivers. Recreation areas are under water.

Most previous years the story has been just the opposite. Drought reigned supreme. Water was rationed. People were fined for watering their lawn on the wrong day or at the wrong hour. Lake levels were too low for boating activities.

Reminds me of these words:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Paul, as written in his letter to the Philippians - 4:12)

That's not where I live full time just yet.

Our air conditioning at the house has been down the past 2 days. It was too hot to sleep well at night, and it topped 90 inside the house during the day.

I was, shall we say, somewhat discontented by this.

But then the repairmen show up at the door yesterday. They came from their last job which involved working on a unit in someone's attic. At my house, they would spend 95% of their time working on my unit outside. When they did get my cooling back on, they couldn't stay to enjoy the fruit of their labor, for the next poor soul was waiting, suffering in the heat.

The one who is hot wants cold. The one who is cold wants hot. The one who is flooded wants dry, and the one who is dry longs for rain.

There's contentment to be found whether it's hot or cold, flood or drought, whether in plenty or in want, in sickness or in health, and all of those other extremes.

What is this secret Paul talks about? I want to know the secret!

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (v. 13)

The secret appears to be quite simply the recognition that God will give sufficient strength for the journey.

That's how I conquered my fear of roller coasters. As I watched the many people get on and off, on and off, I told myself, "Look at all these people going on this ride, and they all return ok. I imagine I'll come back ok, too, huh?"

Many have gone before and come through just fine. Many will come after, as well. You're not alone.

Also, consider those who are struggling through the total opposite of your problem, for many times that is just as bad as your extreme.

How could good health be bad, you ask? There are some who desparately need to be stricken with bad health, for it would be the only thing to get them to correct some bad habits that will eventually kill their bodies, or deal with some spiritual issues that will eventually kill their souls. Yes, good health can be very bad.

It's a slow process, this learning to be content. Good qualities seldom develop overnight.

So, I'll try to be just a little more content today, even if it rains. Or if it doesn't.

But, I still wish I could keep my car clean for a little bit longer than just the drive back into the garage...

6 comments:

Theresa said...

a clean car is a boring car. That's my excuse anyway. ;)

lisa wynn said...

Excellent. I'm sharing this with my Temple Builders group.

Mike Morton said...

Very inspirational...

... but you still COULD NOT get me on a roller coaster to save my life!

Brenda said...

I was watching the weather this morning and they said it has rained 41 days straight in Oklahoma. Maybe not Tulsa, but somewhere in Oklahoma we have had rain. I like it, just not everyday. I was thinking we may need to build and ark.

When I am at work, I'm very content. Because I see so many that are far worse than I am. It puts it into perspective for me. When I go back home, I tend to forget and can easily become discontent. It's at work I get that reality check.
It's God's strength that gets me through each day...just like everyone else. It's how much of his control will I be content with.

I think we often need those visual reminders.

As for the roller coasters, I need help getting Ian over that same fear. He loves them, loves to look at them, but doesn't want to get on one.

Tammy said...

Contentment....ahh just when you think you have it, another battle comes along that must be fought to keep it. And the brunt of the battle take place in my very own mind...and like the roller coaster battle, it is convincing your mind that you will survive (and hopefully thrive) that is the hardest part. As for a clean car...lately I have taken to driving really fast in the downpours. My own personal carwash on the highway!

Matt said...

Just ran into your blog. Keep up the good work