Everything I need

It is a ritual that we go through every year.

“Wayne, what do you want for Christmas?”, I ask.

“Not a thing”, he answers, “I can’t think of one thing I need.”

He is the most contented man I know, and he has been teaching me the art of contentment for the last twenty years. Contentment has always been hard for me. Is it because I grew up poor by some standards? Or am I just greedy by nature? Either way, I have struggled in years past with complete contentment.

What I have come to learn is that contentment has very little to do with money or the things it can buy.  I could expound with a theological answer about the benefits of godliness contentment brings, but since I myself have struggled with the “have-nots” I won’t pretend to have mastered great spiritual wisdom.

Instead I’ll tell you what I know about contentment

I’m most content when I am still. It’s the quiet times on my porch, sipping my coffee that I find contentment.

It’s remembering a song from when I was a child and humming it as I drive to work.

I am most content when I fix a simple supper and share it with my  husband and child.

When I have run until I am dripping with sweat and realize that it’s beginning a soft misty rain, I find myself wanting nothing much more than a hot shower.

I am finding that when I use it up, wear it out, make it last, and give in secret I am most content.  I am finding the difference between “doing without” and “not needing it anyways”. The less I think I need, the greater my satisfaction with where I am.

There will always be  greed inside my soul, and when I feed it grows.

God, help my only discontent to be that I want You more. Help me to desire You far more than Your gifts. It’s then that I find I have everything I need.



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