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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can we ever be content??

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 
1 Timothy 6:6-9, 11

After about 3 miles of walking in the crisp morning air, a full dish of kibble, a bowl of ice cubes and a downward dog stretch or two, my Sando slides, languidly, languorously into repose, and then into deep sleep.  He is content.  Contentment (or Contented as defined by Merriam.com) is “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possession, status, or situation.” Today’s prayer for my husband is that he might be content.  In today’s instant-gratification, status conscious, FB over sharing, ultra-competitive world, can we ever be content??

How often are you good with what is? Not complacent, which generally means what I have is good enough, but content, meaning what I have is good…For me, mastering contentment is about slowing down, listening, enjoying this place and this moment (spiritually, geographically, and temporally) before going on.  Contentment is your happy place.  And remember, by my reckoning, happy places move all the time.

That your happy place moves does not mean you must continually seek it out.  Life is a journey, not a destination (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Jeremiah Burroughs, writing in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (in the 17th century) declares “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."  A frame...what a useful illustration.  Move the frame and the picture goes along.   

Though I have prayed for my husband’s continued contentment (I am thankful that he is by no means discontent and humbly ask God that it might remain so), for myself I seek “sweet, inward, quiet” grace.  I proclaim my desire to embody contentment, slowing down, listening, enjoying the places where I am and the moments I spend there to the fullest extent.  I don’t need to rush.  There is enough time.  God is in control.  I can simply exhale.

And with that, I am done, except to say, that walking my silly, lovely, spoiled, richly satisfied dog has again been the vehicle for my lesson.  A sermon on the leash.  Today’s reminder that God is good. 

Today’s feast: Poached Egg with Tomato and Shaved Parmesan

Back story-This morning, I wanted something simple, filling, light and yet luxurious.  I poached an egg with the first few things I saw. I am satisfied and happy.

For one
1 large egg
2T shaved parmesan
¼ t extra virgin olive oil
Cracked pepper
Two medium slices of tomato

Fill a saucepan full enough with warm water to come up the sides of a single serve ramekin without overflowing.  Place on the burner; set the heat to medium.  Into the ramekin, add the olive oil and a slice of tomato.  Scatter half of the parmesan and add the egg.  Finish with cracked pepper and the remaining cheese.  Place the ramekin in the saucepan and cover.  In four minutes, you’ve got something wonderful.  Serve with toast.


  1. This is such a slippery slope. For the most part, I do really well with being happy with what I have. And I'm grateful for growing up with nothing because it makes me appreciate everything I have, even if it's not enough. I do; however, have a hard time teaching this lesson to my kids. I have to keep reminding myself that I need to love them by teaching them humility and appreciation, rather than loving them with stuff. It's a hard lesson!

    1. I agree, it is a very hard lesson...but we keep trying, yes?


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