Contentment=1. a state of happiness and satisfaction
I would like you to come on a walk with me. What is Contentment? A dictionary definition is the one above. In the Bible Paul stated in Phil 4:11-13 “ I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”. NIV Is it possible?
I know the last thing you want to read is anything dealing with winter, cold or Christmas. (School supplies lists are posted in the stores already. This will challenge the sweet contentment of our youth. 🙂 )
Picture if you will a scene from the movie – A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring George C. Scott. Christmas Day, a small crowded room filled with the large Cratchit family surrounding a wooden table.
Bob Cratchit is holding his cup high into the air asking the family to make a toast to honor Mr. Scrooge. There is no malice, anger or contempt in his voice. The terrible work conditions Mr. Cratchit is forced to put up with, low wages and absence of respect warrant no such tribute.
Mrs. Cratchit on the other hand has small gratification in the same situation. In the movie, she is quite obvious in her disdain for Mr. Scrooge. She sees him as tight fisted and stingy. She would give him a piece of her mind if he were standing there in person. She knows her husband works hard, but does not receive his proper due.
Why the opposite response?
Not knowing the tic-toc in either person’s head I cannot say for sure. Looking at an article entitled,THE SECRET OF CONTENTMENT , from the Current Magazine ( our church publication), I envisioned Mr. Cratchit walking to Scrooge and Marley’s Accounting Office everyday holding God’s hand. If the reality in Mr. Cratchit’s heart knows God is saying to him –“I will never leave you, never will I forsake you,” an honest and sincere toast can be made to Mr. Scrooge, with no strings attached. Mr. Crachit knows God is right with him. Mr. Cratchit is content.
Mrs. Cratchit is not a bad sort. In fact, truth be told, she handles life quite well. This woman is trying to keep the family running smoothly with the little funds they have. She sees her husband treated unjustly and to top it all off, the youngest child is sick with no extra money for proper care.
Blaming Mr. Scrooge for the lack of food when it would be in his power for a higher wage is understandable. (Don’t ignore your feelings). Having contempt for this man would be easy. Imagine the daily fear of one wrong step could move them closer to the poor house. (don’t say everything is OK when it is not OK.)
Even if Mrs. Cratchit had a relationship with Jesus, possibly she lives as though she is totally responsible to hold everything together. When a person is suffering, but blames others, is angry and holds a grudge, huge barriers are sometimes constructed making it difficult to envision how God can meet the needs.
Come back to summer in Duluth, MN.
Can you see yourself walking as either one of these characters? .
I see myself as both. At times my hand is inside of God’s, my eye’s look into His and everything is at peace, filled with contentment. I know He has my back in the situation that I am going through even though it is new and not easy.
At other times because I am not perfect, I choose another path. If you have read any of my previous blogs, contentment has eluded me. I may not blame, but in weariness, lack of control, fear, and feeling responsible to keep it together, I am not content.
God is gentle. He loves me. He opens doors to reflect how my choices are affecting me. He will touch me through the Bible, articles, friends, or He uses His still quiet voice to woo me to a place of contentment. (happiness and peace)
The secret of contentment for me is a continuous journey. Contentment is never out of reach but always growing deeper as I allow Jesus to love me deeper. Feel free to share your walk with me on contentment. It is not easy but we are not alone.