World of Tents
“All the world lives in tents–content and discontent.” Marquee Messages, 2000 pg 74
Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot
Ecclesiastes 6:9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite; this also is vanity and a striving after the wind.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and d not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
Oftentimes at least in this day and age, ne sees persons hurrying and scurrying, striving to do many, many things. For many, yes, they are dashing about to increase their position of both power and wealth, believing that more will bring them happiness, pleasure and success. It is not uncommon to see a more financially compensated person working in an office away from, separated by long hours from family, mealtimes, and haven (or nowadays, may be working from home, but still secluded, locked into working and climbing the stressful ladder to the top).
I understand working hard, being loyal to the company. I was employed for a couple of decades with the same hospital and giving my best. Those were traits instilled by my hard-working parents. I do not remember being encouraged to ‘it’s okay if your long work hours separate you from your family and their activities, the one with the most money wins, the one with the impressive title is the king of the hill…’ It was do your best no matter the job, but family life is part of that job and responsibility.
Discontent arises from many areas of your thought processes. Are you pushing yourself in one direction and yearning for family? Are you envious of what someone else (or several someones) may have? Are there new cars, new technology, something else that you yearn for and cannot yet have? You feel you must keep climbing for more money, the next promotion, the power, the admiration?
Upon your death, you cannot take any of that with you. We all leave this world in the same manner we entered–albeit with an older covering. But you arrive naked and alone, usually welcomed with warm caring hands and learn about touch and care; but you leave the same, naked and alone. There is no power or adulation cheering you on, UNLESS you get to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” upon reaching heaven if you have chosen Jesus as your Savior.
It’s my guess, if you are striving to fulfill all that is on your calendar and your personal goals, you are spending more time on what you think is important versus what God calls for you to see as important. And that leads to discontentment. It is not just the person working so desperately to provide and climb who becomes discontent.
The stay-at-home mother also feels discontent–there is the societal competition nowadays to enter your children into all sorts of activities. Let’s do sports (oh, you want to try two different ones? Sure, we can do that. And you want dance? Excellent), but now your second child is also looking to try gymnastics and swimming. Oh, can I do singing lessons too?) Whatever happened to the neighborhood chums getting together and pitching a few balls, running a football up and down a field? Maybe there would be less stress because there is less competition, organized competition to play sports, dance, and other activities. Nothing gets to be spontaneous any longer for parents or children. Stress, therefore discontent brewing.
At the end of each day, all are frazzled; there is no to little time to share a meal together, to determine the kind of day each has had, to show appreciation for the fact they are a family, and to praise God for the meal, for the blessing of being.
Discontentment leads us to search for SOMETHING, ANYTHING to please just fill me, make me stop thinking there is more. It’s obviously just work and same, day after day. But that is not so. God can fill our voids, those deep empty places inside, which can lead to contentment and peace and rest.
You may yearn for more knowledge of Him, but His Spirit will provide. The feeling you need to scurry about as busy ants facing the fall season, or as squirrels gathering their winter nourishment, goes, disappears. Contentment comes and you learn what is most important, and when filling yourself with God and who He is and His plan for your life, there comes a peace and rest, as His Word promises (Matthew 11:28). Yes, you will continue to work, but may chose to take a step down, or a new position/career entirely. God shows you a better way for you and your family.
We may not all be blessed with longevity. Do you want your loved ones gathering in remembrance and your own children cannot comment on the type of person you really are? They may have no knowledge of the joking, good humored, fun person who is loyal, kind and a great listener because drive and competition for more, kept you away from them. How can they know, if they have no opportunity to spend time, quality time, with you? That would fill me with regret. But then it’s too late to be not content.
I believe this drive for more and more things, competition of children in all these activities and more are the work of the devil. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. That is his purpose, his desire, his greatest, greedy, destructive goal.
If you’re frazzled, always pressing intently forward with a drive for more, please take some time to seek God, to ask Him into your life, to take Him up on His rest. Life should not be a competition. You can take NOTHING with you. Your family and loved ones are the most important blessings God has given you after giving you His Son, His only means to salvation and life eternal. Don’t let drive and desire lead you to discontentment. Come to God and surrender. Contentment will begin to seep in.
Thank You, Lord, that I learned how to rest in You, seek You in all my discontent. I thank You the Holy Spirit reminds me whenever me and ‘mybellaviews’ start to feel a bit frazzled.