Perusing through Social media recently made me wonder how many of us live for “The Next thing” that’s coming our way down life’s road. It might be:
- Marriage, then
- Children, then
- A home purchase, then
- Vacation or Cruise, then
- Another Child, then
- A new car, then
- When the children are in school, then,
- A job promotion, then
- The purchase of the newest gadget, then
- When the children are on their own, then
- Another great vacation…
- When the grandchildren are born…
It goes on and on. There’s nothing wrong, of course, with having goals, but some people seem unsatisfied until they attain that “Next thing.” It’s such an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it? Everything we see and hear in our world encourages that discontentment. We’re always urged to want more and to do more and long for the next season of life.
But what if we could put on glasses with lenses that help us to really see what we have “Now”? If we could really embrace the joy of this stage, the gladness for these few possessions, the awe of this status of our lives? Would we not be really living out the beauty the contented, Christian life that Paul’s wrote of when he said,
I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and how to abound, every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13
If we feel a frequent restlessness with today and we’re on the search for something else – big or little – to get us to through the next hoop of our life, it may be that what we’re really missing is not the newest toy from the electronic department, but biblical contentment.
Where does that kind of contentment come from? It’s not found at the Apple store, it’s found in the Secret Place of prayer. When Paul spoke of “being instructed to be full and hungry,” he was talking of being initiated into the secret of contentment, and that can only come when we go to our God in prayer.
When we pray, we tell Him about our anxious heart, our longing for that something else. We ask Him to give us joy in this day, this moment, this status, this car, this house, this marriage. When you get up off your knees, you’ll find that instead of longing for something more, you will have found Someone who was enough!
Ask yourself (or better yet, ask God), “Am I living for The Next Thing, or am I content with right now?” Respond as God reveals the Truth to your heart, and you’ll be staring the sweetest possession right in the face – REAL, TRUE CONTENTMENT.