Updated: Nov 14, 2022
As I sit here under my electric blanket, drinking my raspberry white chocolate mocha with Spotify playing a coffeehouse playlist, I can’t help but feel content. It’s times like these where I can escape from the reality of which I actually exist. Where my mind can be focused on just one thing. My body relaxed and my heart at rest of all emotion. Have you ever felt like this before? If you have, you know that times like this are hard to come by but worth every second. However, if you have never experienced a moment that I just described I would say you should count it as a blessing. You may be asking yourself, it sounds so great I want so bad to feel content just for just a moment. The key word here is moment. My electric blanket will eventually get too hot, I’ll take a sip of my mocha and the cup will be dry, and the playlist is only so long. I’m not saying that moments like these are not okay to have and a lot of times they are much needed, but if it is the only time in which you feel content you’re missing out on a life of contentment. It does not have to last only for a moment.
Being content can last much longer than a couple of hours or even a couple of weeks. It can be felt on a daily basis without the warmth, coffee, and music. You can be in the biggest trial of your life and still be fully okay with everything going on around you. It is not the situation that defines a person but the person themselves. Or rather how the person defines themselves without their earthly comforts.
As much as I desire to stay underneath the blanket, have an endless cup of coffee, and listen to relaxing music all day, here in a few short hours I have to go to work. The work in which I am expected to encourage clients, interact with people kindly no matter how I feel about them or myself, contact people on the phone (everyone should just text, anyone agree?), and clean and clean until the end of my shift. Now which sounds better? Being alone in a nice warm house or having to go out and endure difficult people? Momentary contentment would suggest staying home. Yet, I can feel the same contentment right now as I do when I walk into the doors of my job.
How? How can a situation be different but the feeling of contentment not change? As my favorite pastor, Matt Chandler, says “Don’t be a naval-gazer.” Look up and remember why it is you do the things you do. The reason I wake up, write, workout, go to church, hangout with friends is not to make me happy or make myself feel better about me. It is to give God glory. A verse God brought to my attention a few weeks ago while I was spending time with Him will forever change the way I focus. Colossians 3:1-2, “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” I have read that verse multiple times, heard sermons preached, it was even a verse I had to memorize at one point when I was on student leadership at Liberty. Of course I never took the time to really apply it to my heart, my feelings, or my mind. My thought was, “Yeah, okay when I am thinking mean thoughts and or judging others or myself I need to think Jesus and try and erase those thoughts from my mind.” However it is so so much more than that! First, the beginning of the verse reminds us (those who know Jesus personally) that we are not our old selves but have been made new because Christ died for everything bad we have done or are going to do. The verse then states that our hearts should be focused on Christ. If our heart is in constant pursuit of Jesus it will be perfectly content and should be thankful in knowing that we are set free from our mistakes. Then it begins to tell you that you should also set your mind on things above. It is not enough to just feel with our hearts the contentment and thankfulness but we should know these things to be true. The heart and mind are 6 inches apart. That is a long way for contentment to travel but if both are already focused on Christ there shouldn’t be any traveling. It should exist both places.
Contentment is not based upon situations but rather on the reason why we live life. If the reason is all about me then contentment will stay within the warmth, the coffee, and the music and won’t last longer than seconds, days, or weeks. If those things bring you contentment and God gives you time for such comforts, thank Him and embrace. But if the reason you live life is to make God’s name known. Then your focus of both heart and mind should be on things above rather than looking at your navel. I am not saying it is easy and you will fail. But if we were perfect we wouldn’t need Jesus. And if we didn’t have Jesus where would we be looking?