18 November 2011
A Fresh Look at an Old Favorite
I woke up this morning with this song in my head. (Note: I woke up 52 minutes ago--I'm teaching online this month which means that Friday mornings are grading mornings. Yet here I am, not *quite* grading, yet.) After I finished my quiet time, I flipped open my Bible to this verse because the song was still running through my head.
There was a reason this was running through my head. Have you read the REST of this paragraph? It starts out with Paul thanking the church for their concern for him, and for showing it. (Interesting that he adds that, no?) And then it goes on...
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4: 11-13 (NIV)
This has been such a struggle for me the past few months. I *say* I am content, I *think* I am content...but then what I say and do proves otherwise. I feel so sorry for my Boy, because the deeper I get into the "For Women Only" Bible study, the more I am aware of the mixed signals I am sending to him and how damaging that can be. (Thanks for loving me through it, Boy-o.) I am forever saying, I love our home, even if it's small. Or something like that. True contentment: I love my home. (I DO!--I am coming to think that this is a bad habit, adding a "but" to the end of a happiness/contentment statement...lest anyone think I'm too happy or think my life is "perfect." But maybe that's another post.)
And another one: We've learned to live within our means. (Great.) But I almost always chase that statement with another about how our means are a small house and old cars. (Ouch.)
And the one that's really sticking in my craw: I am CONSTANTLY complaining about my car. It's got what I consider to be a LOT of cosmetic damage. And we keep choosing to do other things with our money--it really doesn't make sense to fix it, and I *know* this. So why do I keep complaining? Why am I embarrassed, when I ought to go back to being grateful that I get to drive exactly the car I want...I love my car! I don't love the dents and dings and broken bumper and big pink scratch (vandalism...really??)...but I love my car, and I'm so grateful to have a reliable vehicle that takes me/us SO MANY PLACES. I live 80 miles from work, for goodness sake--it's a good car.
I'm not sure what's going on with me this fall, but I'm really struggling with contentment and selfishness. And it's almost worse that I'm hyperaware of it, because then I get grumpy with myself and I know that makes me not a lot of fun to be around.
But through it all, my Boy remains, and loves me anyway.
That reminds me of Someone else, who gives me so much grace and loves me despite my sin and selfishness.
I am incredibly, incredibly blessed. And I pray this season of discontent passes soon. Like, today. Maybe now that it's out there I'll move past it...I find that keeping it inside just makes it worse.
So we'll see, right?
How 'bout you? Content or not so much? Do your actions match your words, or are you a big ol' hypocrite like me?