The Secret of Contentment

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The truth is that if we are not satisfied with what we have, we will never be satisfied with what we want.

I will keep my life free from the love of money
and be content with what I have,
for You have said,
“I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
 
I will not love the world or the things in the world.
 If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh,
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—
is not of the Father but of the world. 
And the world and its lusts are passing away,
but the one who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).

“We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.” Uncle Screwtape’s diabolical counsel to his nephew Wormwood in C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters is a reminder that most of us live more in the future than in the present.  Somehow we think that the days ahead will make up for what we perceive to be our present lack. We think, “When I get this or when that happens, then I’ll be happy,” but this is an exercise in self-deception that overlooks the fact that even when we get what we want, it never delivers what it promised. 

Most of us don’t know precisely what we want, but we are certain we don’t have it. Driven by dissatisfaction, we pursue the treasure at the end of the rainbow and rarely drink deeply at the well of the present moment, which is all we ever have. The truth is that if we are not satisfied with what we have, we will never be satisfied with what we want. 

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