Has anyone else noticed how discontent society is these days? It’s often hard to find anyone who is truly content, or satisfied with who they are, what they look like, their marital status, and what they have.
You might be thinking, “Thanks, captian obvious, what’s your point?!” I’m almost there, promise!
I think it’s very important to set goals, #dreambig and have determination to accomplish things. However, I think we often get so busy looking ahead to where we want to be, that we forget to enjoy where we currently are. You may have seen quotes on Pinterest that say things like “enjoy the journey” or something fluffy like that. As cheesy as those quotes are, written in perfect calligraphy and shared across social media (can I get a witness?) there is some real truth to what they say.
This is something i’ve struggled with for a few years (maybe 26 to be exact?)
- At age 10 I couldn’t wait to be 16 so I could drive!
- When I was in middle school, I could not wait to get to high school!
- When I was in high school I just wanted to graduate and get a job.
- When I finally had a job, I didn’t like it and tried to find a way to retire at 19.
- When I was single, I just wanted to be married.
- Now that I’m married (to the best husband ever!) and have the job of my dreams, rather than being happy just In this season, I find myself just wanting to have babies!
This seems like an endless cycle.
So, how do we break this endless cycle of discontent?
1. Enjoy THIS season
It’s easy to forget that in life there are seasons, just like there are seasons in a year. Every season needs to be complete before the next one begins, or else everything can be thrown out of whack!
If it doesn’t get cold enough in the winter it can effect the trees, plants and other things in nature. Then when spring comes around it turns into something weird I’d like to call… Oklahoma.
But seriously. Seasons in our lives are just as important, if not more, than seasons in the year.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 says –There is a season (an time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven.
If you’re in a single season, enjoy it. If you’re in a married season, enjoy it. If you’re in a schooling season, enjoy it. If you’re in a season of abundant supply, or believing for more, enjoy it. if you’re in a busy raising 15 kids season… um, enjoy it?
Find the joy in the season that you are in, because when God moves you to the next season of life, you just may end up missing everything about the season you’re in right now.
2. Contentment is not a natural given characteristic.
Contentment is developed over time and by circumstances we go through.
If we ask our parents if we were content just sitting still as children, i’m sure they would laugh. No child is born and then perfectly content all of the time, it’s really the oposite. The more they grow, the more they want to move and explore.
No one is born content. However, we can learn to be content in every area by drawing closer to God. We can be content in who He is, and who He’s made us to be. Step by step we can learn to be more and more content.
If Paul could learn it, then so can we.
“Actually, 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.”
3. Set goals, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish them as quick as you’d like to.
It is important to have dreams and set goals for various aspects of our lives. However, sometimes reality can look different than the vision we have in our minds, and that’s ok.
If we aim to enjoy the journey from where we are to where we are going, we can be content in every stage of life.
Good news: if you’re reading this, it means you are alive, and that means you still have time to reach the goals you have. It’s never too late.
Look at Sarah in the Bible (Genesis 21) she longed to have a child year after year after year after year… until she finally gave birth to her first son at 90 years old. With that said, I think each of us still have time for our dreams to come to pass.
4. Training time is NEVER wasted time.
This is something I had to remind myself of when I was going through Bible school. I was an intern at Global Ventures and a student at Domata Bible School. I was getting training from every direction, but I felt discontent a lot of the time because I just wanted to finish and start whatever it is I was supposed to do after I received the training.
Looking back, I believe that in that time of training, God was setting me up for my future.Without it, I definitely would not be who I am or where I am today. I’m so grateful I received that extra year(s) of training, and didn’t get ahead of myself and jump into something at the wrong time.
I hope this encourages you today. You’re going in the right direction. You’re doing better than you think you are. Give yourself room to be content and enjoy the journey from where you are to where you’re going.
© 2017 ANNA HOWARD ALL RIGHTS RESERVED