The Discipline of Contentment

By: Ron Lagerquist

Closure, serenity, being centered, living in the now, the Word calls it contentment. And there’s nothing quite like it. "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecc.1:14)." True today, as it was three thousand years ago. Meaningless fruitless living were momentary tranquility is found in the multitude of modern addictions. Yet, do we not hunger for the permanence of contentment, thirst for rich meaningfulness? It cannot be met under this sun.

The North American lifestyle comes equipped with an extravagant supply of extra unnecessary options. They fill driveways and garages. All these things need to be maintained, updated and even once in a while, played with.

I love keeping up with the latest guff on computer technology. Often I would read PC World, drooling over the full color center folds. Their sleek lines and rich assorted textures, lightning speed chips, huge hard drives, brilliant monitors, wow, I was lusting after these babies. I would sit in front of my 1,800 century Lap Top, wind it up, turn it on and go cut the grass, come back and maybe . . . if it decided to awake, I would stare at a beehive of gray, barely articulate shapes. On the wall adjacent, hung a picture of this month’s Mss. Computer, wearing only a Bill Gates’ smile. Instead of writing, I would dream of running free over mountains and lush valleys, just me and my new computer, making beautiful books together. I had convinced myself I needed a new Lap Top to be productive in writing. Oh yah, I had it all nicely justified, fast access to info, quick spell checker (which I used all the time), bigger 12.1 inch screen. I became obsessed, until finally, God smashed in on my little fantasy with some dispassionate reality. The minuscule time I may have saved with new electronic wheels, were long lost over the hours of reading and dreaming computers. I had become completely unproductive. Hadn’t written a thing in three weeks. So, I put on my best shirt and tie, bought my Lap top a brand new used CD drive for forty bucks and took her out for supper. After, we went back to my place for a few chapters.

It was great. I love my old Lap Top. We’ve been through a lot together. Besides, I’m too busy to break in another one. That old girl almost writes by itself. Oh, and by the way, I will never get back those lost three weeks. Who knows what life changing work could have been accomplished if simply content with what I have. A lesson well learned.

We chew through time as if it is a renewable resource. It’s not! I have two daughters. The time I do not take to be there for them can never be given back. If you struggle with addiction, chances are you fight compulsiveness. Compulsive behavior can waste terrible chunks of time on stupid tangents. Be content. Keep it simple. Focus on what really matters in life. People not things. God wants you touching people. Don’t let anyone tell you what you need. They just want your money. Don’t become a slave to things. Possess only what’s working for you not the other way around.

Contentment elevates you above the trappings of a fallen world. You will laugh in the face of want because God is your Provider.

Three Foundational Disciplines, Part 4: Live With Purpose

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this is incredible. the simpler my life becomes, the more joyous i become.
Wow. You said it clean and clear.
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