Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh really?

On my iGoogle homepage, one of the apps I have installed is a "Quote of the Day" feature... today's quote is from the western novelist Louis L'amour:

Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.

I beg to differ, at least in one aspect. I believe that being content is actually the ONLY way to get anywhere. Perhaps not content to remain in one spot or one mindset... but content in knowing that God's up to something cool and exciting, and that He's got a plan for me to be a part of it, whatever it is, and that I don't really need to be concerned about the details. I just need to be content in the circumstances He's put me in TODAY, and to be prepared for any changes He might have in mind for me TOMORROW.

I think that the Apostle Paul might even agree with me...

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

I'd be thrilled to have money -- don't get me wrong. But I can't allow myself to be driven by the love of it. There actually are lots more important things than money. I suppose I can be thankful I wasn't given the immense responsibility; I probably wouldn't be very trustworthy with scads of money. It's certainly easier to stay out of trouble if I can't afford troublesome behavior in the first place.

A six-month vacation in Fiji would be fun, though rather impractical and selfish of me. If I got a big bukkit of money, I'd probably sink a sizeable amount into the restoration of this terrific house I live in. No, I don't imagine there would be much return on investment, but if I had money to burn, who cares? And then I'd pay for Isaac to go to college (at OU, preferably... astrophysics or petroleum engineering or something like that).

And then I'd buy a beach house in Virginia or the Carolinas and I'd paint watercolors forever and forever.

But contentment? I haz it. Even right now, when things aren't exactly ideal. Because I know things won't always be thus. So no, Mr. L'amour, I beg to differ. Everybody suffers at some point if they're ever going to be a worthwhile person... contentment is much more constructive at such times than resentment.

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