It is the idea that we must fight discontentment with gratitude and delight. We who are of Christian orientation have the great advantage of having an object of complete and utter delight who we worship. Somehow by delighting in God, everything else finds it’s rightful place.
In this world there will always be trouble. The question is how not to avoid it, but to be at peace with a life that will see trouble. Whether it be sickness of a loved one or self, or wars or famines or floods.
The life that is all together and good and lovely is an illusion anyway. For one, what we think we want we probably actually don’t need. And a life without trials or hardships is one that will remain immature and naive.
So I have come to resolve that I will fight for contentment. It seems counterintuitive, but if we realise that the default mode of the human being is to be jealous, to be discontent, to want more, then it starts to make sense. And if you throw in the fact that the average human being floats day by day in a sea of advertising, and media designed to make you discontent, then it really starts to make sense.
And we have all bought and continue to buy into this illusion. We are surrounded by messaging that creates a desire in us and tries to sell us something to satisfy that desire. and when we do, we feel good for a little while, but then find we must have more to satisfy the same desire. And our general level of contentment only gets lower and lower.
False idols, broken cisterns, that’s the Bible calls them.
So I will fight for contentment every day in Christ alone. To find my fullest love and my fullest delight in one thing alone, the everlasting fountain of life. For that alone will set me free. For that alone will bring me contentment.
So I will worship. In the morning and in the day and in the night.
As I’ve said previously regarding Gen Y: it’s a rough sea to be out sailing in. We have been told to seek the pleasurable and the feel-good. Increasingly we are rewired with the sight, sound, taste, and feelings of what is pretty and superficial, while neglecting what is truly deep and meaningful and real. We’re “kind of unhappy” according to ‘waitbutwhy’ because our expectations vastly differ from the reality.
In the next series of posts I’m going to attempt to articulate the crises facing our generation. All of these crises are forces which deeply shape and affect young and old alike today, but they are particularly pertinent to and important to understand for a generation growing up in the midst of such a context.
By no means am I an expert in sociology/philosophy, but in my life-journey I have found myself grappling with each of these issues, as I am sure every human being does at one point or another. The next series of blog posts will focus on one or more of the following topics at a time and perhaps in no particular order:
Eternity (and the related issues of meaninglessness/significance/hopelessness)
Hedonism (and the addictions that result)
Greatness (or most people’s lack of)
In my short life’s experience and to my observations and musings, the solution to every one of these crises facing our generation lies solely in the kingdom of God. Not only does the kingdom provide the solution to these crises, under it’s umbrella and frame-work, these forces that threaten to crush actually become impetuses for good. I believe the kingdom of God is the answer to life and life in it’s fullest. Freedom and authenticity in the deepest. Peace and joy in the widest. I see no other or no better alternative. This is only as sure as I have experienced it in my life-journey. The approach is an authentic and a grass roots one. The following posts are my attempts to articulate my thoughts in a way that I am hoping will bring greater clarity and hope to me, and to perhaps a generation as well.
I don’t intend to come across as someone who is negative, critical and escapist. If we are going to be of use to ourselves and the world around us, we must be positive, supportive and involved/sacrificial. It is not to be a positivity that is blind and does not have its eyes open to reality. It is a positivity that comes from having two eyes steely fixed on the surest hope, and the only hope. It is supportive/sacrificial and intimately involved in the mess and muck firstly in which we ourselves are in, and then that which others are in. And it does so without the burden of, and need to, be critical and prideful. I believe that this is how a man interacted with humanity 2000 years ago, named Jesus Christ. In his teaching alone, lies all our theory and reasoning. In his footsteps alone, lie all our methodology.
Indeed, in his eyes alone, lie the fire that will purify and