Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
Philippians 4: 11-13 (The Message)
Here’s the picture: thirty-six degrees outside under a morning covering of crisp clear blue skies, a precious little five-year-old sound asleep after a night on the fold-out couch in the living room of what our two Granddaughters call the “Mountain House” in North Carolina.
That was a few moments ago, and our younger Granddaughter, Ellie Kate, is stirring but still asleep on the fold-out not ten feet away from me as I sit here to share with you. The best parts of life are so very simple with so very few needs—no matter our circumstances—and come with an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and satisfaction—no matter how big or small the size of our bank accounts our accumulations, or the length of the lists of accomplishments.
And yet for most of us, the things of today and those which will occur the rest of this week will try their best to knock us off what we know—that in our better moments the simple and best parts of life are the path we should be on to find fulfillment and contentment. I don’t know what it will be for you that will try to knock you off, maybe things similar to what I face. But it probably won’t be anything near what the Apostle Paul faced and was subjected to—whippings, shipwrecks, hunger & thirst, imprisonment, and so much more—only to find himself writing the words set out above and saying:
“I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.”
But just like what Paul faced, there is no doubt what we face will be real. The question is whether we will allow the things we will face and the decisions we have before us to distract us or to knock us from the journey to real fulfillment, satisfaction and contentment in life.
Maybe we’ve just discovered we have a back injury which may require surgery and wonder how we’ll be able to push forward with a career demanding so much travel. Maybe an illness just won’t go away; or we’re in the midst of rehab just to be able to walk again.
Life can be very real.
It is very real that we may be facing an addiction we can’t, or won’t, admit is ours; or have a child who has lost their way—once again—and we don’t know how to help them anymore. It is very real to be confronted with a decision of whether we really need a bigger this or a bigger that which we know we can’t comfortably afford now, or in the foreseeable (and unforeseeable) future; or whether we need an extra vacation trip; or another membership in some club or activity—knowing deep down inside that none of it will add one iota of real fulfillment to our lives—and instead will probably lead to just the opposite. And interestingly—something that we too often don’t learn the first time around—is that those things not only won’t provide us with contentment or fulfillment—they will almost always keep us from attaining it.
And we’re the only ones who can do that. We’re the only ones who can give permission to allow whatever is around or hurtling toward us—trying to knock us off the path—to actually knock us off the path to real fulfillment, satisfaction and contentment.
In our best moments we know that. It’s really that simple.
And no matter what things we encounter that will try to knock us off that path toward fulfillment and contentment, they can never keep us from an intimate relationship with the One, and the only One, who will help us through whatever we face. And He is the One, and only One, who is the source of real—very real—contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment.
In our best moments we know that, too. It’s really that simple.
It’s now thirty-eight degrees outside, yet still with a morning covering of crisp clear blue skies. Our precious little five-year-old is just waking up; still not ten feet from me on the fold-out bed in the living room of what our two Granddaughters call the “Mountain House” in North Carolina.
The best parts of life are really so very simple.
And really are—the best!
In His Name—Scott