We brought a new family member into our home last summer. Mo is everything you might expect a young black Labrador retriever to be…a bundle of lightening, curiosity, sweetness, mischief and love.
And we’ve treated her like we would a new baby. We’ve ordered special beds. We’ve bought her “indestructible” chew toys. We’ve tried fancy dog treats and stimulating exercise toys. Her happiness has been our goal.
But you know what? Out of all the toys and comforts that we’ve provided- Mo’s most treasured item is a basic yellow ball.
A $2 ball.
She’ll play fetch for hours with that ball. She’ll lay it beside her head for a nap. It’s the first thing she searches for in the morning. That basic retrieving ball is never far away from Mo. It brings her happiness, comfort and joy. Contentment.
Contentment is difficult to find. We often find ourselves looking for that next item…the next toy…to bring us happiness and joy. But we rarely obtain the satisfaction and peace we are searching for in our lives.
I’m guilty of it. I look at the cars, the homes, the jobs…the lives of those around me. Instagram and Facebook show happy families and good times. Vacations and retreats. Confident, content and happy people. I then look in the mirror and see brokenness in my own life.
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. 1 Timothy 6: 6-8
In reality, I need to focus on my blessings. Instead of the outward comparisons, I should focus on those gifts that are right in front of me. My wife. My children. My health and job. A wonderful community to call home and good friends who stand by me when I need encouragement.
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.” Hebrews 13:5
Jesus has given us all we need to find contentment. Giving our hearts…our lives…to Jesus means eliminating the distractions that society places in our way. We brought no material wealth into this world and can’t take anything with us when we die.
How do we find it?
- Count your blessings. Often. Yes, it’s an overused phrase. But have you done it lately? Write down the things you are grateful for in your life. Your parents. Your spouse. That friend you can always call when times are tough.
- Pray over your blessings. Acknowledging these gifts and thanking God for your blessings is another way to increase the awareness of what you “have” instead of focusing on what you “don’t.” Do this often. Prayer grounds us and allows us to focus on what’s important.
- Be a blessing to someone else. The best way to have peace in your heart is to invest in someone else. Check on your elderly neighbor. Call your friend who’s going through a divorce. Cook dinner for someone who is hurting.
- Get in God’s word daily. Read the words and study the actions of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Read the words of Paul. Study the Psalms. The Bible gives us a wonderful roadmap for peace.
My prayer this week is to find peace in my own life. I want to discover my own yellow ball.
And please let me know how I may pray for you. God bless you.