It’s not even Thanksgiving yet but we’ve already had plenty of folks lining up at the table this week trying to get their piece of the federal bailout pie. It was quite disheartening to hear that the CEOs of the big three car companies didn’t have enough sense to realize that travelling to DC by private jet at a cost of around $20,000 a piece probably wasn’t the best PR move one could make when asking for a $25 billion dollar loan from taxpayers. A first class seat on a commercial flight from Detroit to D.C. would have been around $800, not only monetarily less expense but a whole lot less costly in the court of public opinion. I wonder at what point flying commercial stopped being good enough for these three guys? At what point did life require flying on a private jet to be complete? Do they now have enough? Obviously not, now they need $25 billion more of your money and mine.
Contentedness is the art of being satisfied with what we have or even with less than what we have if that's what's required. Learning to be content is a tough lesson even for us non-CEOs. We have so much, but often continue to focus upon the things we do not have. We think, “I know I have this car. It runs. It’s paid for (or almost paid for). It’s ok, but if I just had that car, then I’d really be happy” Or perhaps we lament “I have this job. It’s alright, but if I just had that job, then everything would be better.” Maybe such thinking even invades church life: “I know our church is doing ok today, but if we just had that program, then we’d really be on our way.” We’re thankful for what we have but think true happiness resides right around the corner.
Life should have taught us already that what we need will never be found around the next corner. I mean, has anyone ever found happiness around the next corner? How could they? The next corner by its very nature is always out of our reach. No, if happiness or better yet contentedness is to be found, it must be found today. Where do we find enough for today? In God alone. A song by the band Switchfoot prayerfully requests of the Lord, “Let me know that you love me and let that be enough.” One of the prophets puts the sentiment this way, “I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’” (Lamentations 3:24). Life with God teaches us to differentiate between what we think will make us happy and what will really make us whole. Jobs, things, even people come and go, but the Lord can be ours forever. So, as you dole out the portions of your mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey this week., pause to thank God for the countless blessings he has already given you. Then take a moment to confess to him that regardless of the size of your piece of the pie, with the Lord as your portion, you are confident that you will always have enough.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” – 2 Peter 1:3.