Who wants to be around someone who is discontent? It is this ugly thing I want to avoid, yet I see it regularly in myself. Why is it so difficult to be content? Isn’t it because I want what I can’t have? Or, is it because I am not happy with what I do have? Maybe, I just feel like I have less than I need. Looking at others, they seem to have what I want. I turn here and there, but it is out of my reach. Left unchecked, “wanting” produces comparison, envy, then, greed. Collaborating, they disguise themselves in discontentment. Even though it seems like it, I don’t think “wanting” is necessarily the problem, or the source of my discontent. Then, if the real problem is not in “the wanting”, then what is it? See if you can relate to this:
I wanted a vacation at the beach, but instead I received a holiday filled with green pastures.
I wished to drink a fruity beverage, yet was given streams of living water.
I had hoped for sand under my feet, and gazing down I found grass between my toes.
There were no palm trees, just an ancient oak with a giant trunk and sprawling limbs.
The rolling waves were nowhere to be seen, but rather rolled hay bales filled my sight.
I then wanted a cloudless day, instead I received clouds hiding the blazing summer sun.
The sunshine and blue sky I sought turned to a soft, cool summer rain.
I wished to walk in the colors of the setting sun, but my eyes opened too early to the vivid hues of a rising sun.
I also desired a certain kind of family, yet looking down I held my husband’s hand.
I wanted to be there, but I was here.
I wished for less conflict, and discovered patience, love and self-control growing inside.
In my dreams there was a large house with room for entertaining my friends, yet in reality I discovered a home for welcoming strangers, instead.
I longed for my house to always be clean, but was given four boys and a continual mess.
I then wanted a different and “fun” personality, yet was told I was responsible, creative and caring.
Feeling tired from wanting, and in need of entertainment, I found peace and a calm presence.
Happiness had been on the top of my list, somehow joy superseded in overwhelming measure.
I wanted more. I wanted different. I wanted change. He heard and knew.
He gave me life. He gave me love and so much more. He gave me Himself.
Slowly I am discovering where this hidden problem lies. “Wanting” is not always bad and wanting “different” is not the enemy. I do want the world to be a different place, a very different place. However, often I desire what I don’t have, instead of finding it right before me. The real problem of discontentment is its ability to blind me from seeing the gift already given to me. Discontentment binds my hands from receiving what He has for me. It isn’t in the wanting, but in the receiving.