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
This morning I pray for my husband’s continued contentment. For myself I seek “sweet, inward, quiet” grace. On a day when I'm feeling a little unwell, I declare 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 do not need to rush. There is enough (time/space/provision). God is, and has ever been, in control. I will simply exhale.
After 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, snoring loudly, 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, Facebook 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. Once I might have said that contentment is your happy place. I'm a little over happy. Now I realize that contentment is the place where breath comes easily. Unhurried. Unconstrained. Not shallow.
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.
And with that, I am done, except to say that, as is so often the case, walking my silly, lovely, spoiled, richly satisfied dog has been the vehicle for my lesson. A sermon on the leash.