I was raised in the SOUTH! Life was pretty simple. All you needed was a good bike, fishing pole and a trampoline. Brushing my hair wasn’t a high priority, but tree climbing was. We lived in a modest house, but nobody told me. Life was full of adventure, dirt roads and all the ice cream you could eat. I had parents who loved me with all their heart and told me daily. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Then I grew up and moved to the City . . . Atlanta to be exact. We bought a house that seemed a little too big for the needs of 3 people, but now that there’s six, it sometimes feels as though we’re bustin’ at the seams. I love my house. We’ve done quiet a few home improvement projects and I’ve had fun decorating it. But then we made a mistake. We visited a house nicer than ours.
We went to a party a while back and let me just say, this house should have been in the “Parade of Homes.” I’m surprised they let us in. After a fun evening with friends, I came back to my house and all the sudden, my ceilings were too low, the TV was too small, the kitchen felt too tight and . . .I think the living room shrunk! I wanted to kick the cat . . . but I didn’t have one.
We are all on an UPWARD spiral to obtain the Golden Handcuffs, the dangling carrot, the top of the corporate ladder. When is the house big enough, the car styling enough, the corporate title impressive enough?
The problem with this “Pie in the Sky” mentality, is there’s no finish line. There’s no race course with a flag at the end that says: You made it!!! Congratulations, you are Officially SUCCESSFUL! You can rest now.
Contentment is the state of being satisfied. It is A State, not An Estate! Finding satisfaction and keeping it, is a balancing act, with someone constantly trying to knock us off the “balance beam of life. The grass is always greener, the schools we AREN’T accepted to – are better, the tennis outfit she’s wearing is cooler. It’s a crazy cycle that steals the joy of the moments we’ve worked so hard for. Life is never quiet good enough because we don’t have a finish line to know where “good enough” is.
Contentment comes from within. If this button isn’t fixed, all the upgrades in the world can’t repair or fill the void.
What really matters is the legacy we leave on this earth. I’ve never read an obituary that said: His house was 10,000 sq. feet! Can you believe it? or she was the top realtor in town with 1 million in quarterly sales.
Nope! Instead, you’ll read words that describe their character . . the impact this person had on their friends, family and community. How they prayed big . . . helped big, loved big.
What is the most valuable item here on this earth, that if it were hurt, sick, bothered or taken, you would give your life to protect it? This should be your focus. A house can burn, a car can stall, a job can be lost . . .
Invest in things that matter. Not in materialism, but in relationships; your family, your spouse, your kids. Value the time spent with them at the park, on a date, in the car, working on a school project; etch in your mind the hilarious stories and endless laughing you enjoy with your friends. Enjoy those late night walks and meaningful talks. For we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Go back to the simpler days; have a picnic at the park, lay on a blanket with your spouse. Bring back Thursday game night, write your friends a “hand written” note. Take your buddy fishing. Life is short, but it can be so sweet. Go back to the basics, for in it you will find contentment and great satisfaction . . . and maybe a good tree to climb.
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
I Timothy 6:6 – But Godliness with contentment is great gain.