Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Contentment


"...but Godliness with contentment is great gain . . ." - Paul the Apostle

I had an interesting conversation with my hair stylist the other day. I find talking to hair stylists/barbers/etc. fascinating because I know that when trained they are told to avoid three difficult topics; religion, politics, and morality. I of course try to cover all three whenever I go for a a haircut! Of course you must be careful with such topics, but I really do enjoy seeing the initial squirming. Usually my hairdresser Cheryl starts off by asking me a safe question like "Going anywhere interesting this weekend?" which I answer dutifully and then switch the conversation to something deeper and more dangerous. Anyway, in my last apppointment we were discussing the idea of destiny/dreams and I asked her if she could live anywhere and do any job that she wanted, what and where would it be?

She thought about it for a minute and then told me "Honestly, if I could choose to do anything I wanted and live anwhere I wanted, I would do exactly what I am doing now. I love my job and I love where I live. Sounds boring, right?" Actually, I was astonished. I had not expected to find someone so content with their life working in a hair salon. And in Winnipeg!

I asked her for her secret but she couldn't really say. So what is the secret? Living in the moment? Being thankful? Having no dreams? As I sat there in the chair I thought about what keeps me from bring content; materialism, comparing what I have with others, thinking about future possibilities, etc. It's not that I never feel content (I do) but it so often fleeting. It seems like if you make contentment your goal, you will never achieve it - it must be something that just sneeks up on you. Or is it? Do you know any people who seem to be for the most part content with their life? Ask them for their secret . . . and let me know what they tell you!

May Light increase!

2 comments:

Heather said...

Mark, I love this post (and it's the first one I've read on your blog). It is so difficult to be content, and why? We have EVERYTHING we need and more. Two weeks ago we had a special guest speak in church. He tackled the topic of consumerism, and challenged us to be more grateful for the things we have. He asked us to tally up an approximate value of the items we had on our bodies at that time - clothes, jewellery, shoes, etc. Most would agree that they had on more than $200 worth of stuff. The speaker then reminded us that $200 is a lot more than most third world country inhabitants make in a year. Humbling.

Mark said...

Thanks for the comment Heather! Yes, I think that the materialism aspect is very imporant. Our desires for stuff focus on a idealistic future (with more stuff) instead of on our current reality (and all of the blessings we have now). Balancing the present and the future is very difficult for me. I suppose if one dreams of riches in the future one will never be content with the present. So how does one dream and plan for the future without falling into this trap? Perhaps it starts with taking our focus off of "stuff" in our goals . . . hmmm . . . not sure . . .