Thoughts on Contentment
The winter weather in Texas is beautiful. Bright skies, cold brisk air. I jumped in my car the other day to make a grocery run. Within a few seconds, the heater was roaring at full speed, my sun glasses were perched on my nose, and I was cranking up the Christmas music.
Such a perfect moment. Sadly, I didn’t notice. Not yet.
Because, as I backed out of the driveway, the thought crossed my mind that It would be fun to have seat warmers. My buns were cold.
My mind began to wander. Had we really done our homework when we chose this car?
“I gave you this car.”
That was God speaking.
My gratitude slipped back into place. And then I realized what a perfect moment this was. I sighed a contented sigh. I smiled a contented smile. Cold buns and all.
It made me explore the idea of contentment. Contentment means that what is happening in this moment is enough. I can choose to be happy.
Contentment is a muscle that must be built. Outside influences, not withstanding, I can learn to be content…so that it becomes my first response. I’m not there yet, but I’m working it.
Comparison is the enemy of contentment. It is egged-on by the misconception that everyone else is riding in a car with seat warmers.
There are some amazing writers out there, who know how to turn a phrase, so to make just-plain-Anne sound more like Cordelia.
And the pictures. We see the filtered-and-cropped version of other people’s lives. They might be driving past Berry’s Pond, but through their armature lenses, we see the Lake of Shining Waters. When we drive the same route, we wonder why we don’t get the same thrill.
“What is wrong with me? Why don’t I experience the shining moments that other people do?”
Truth be told, all those expressive adjectives are additives. They aren’t part of the original event, not really. They are chosen by the writer. She saw what she wanted to see, felt what she chose to feel, and edited her descriptions accordingly.
Why does this matter to you? Because we can do the same.
Contentment is choosing to love what you have. Seeing it with creative eyes. Taking it all in, and relishing what it is, not wishing it away.
When we need a moment to be different before we will love it, we are doing just that. Wishing it away. Once it is gone, it is gone. If we do that enough times, we will have had no life at all.
I’ve heard that “What is the past, but what we choose to remember.” Contentment allows us to choose what we will remember…as we are living it.
So, do I remember that my buns were warm? No, that is self-deception. I remember the perfect parts of my drive to the grocery store now, because I relished in the all that the moment was, then.
Contentment is keeping the good parts of a moment, and letting the not-so good parts go, before they become a memory.
These are our choices. But whatever we choose, be content, for then we have what we wanted them to be.