CONTENTMENT Ecclesiastes 7

Being content.  Satisfied.  Pleased as punch.  Wonder what that looks like?  How would I know if I’ve achieved it?  Obviously, I’m clueless.  Hence the question.

I’m not content.  Not sure I want to be.  Sounds a bit like being lazy.  Satisfied with less in life; when, with some effort, more could be achieved.

I don’t want to stagnate.  Stand still.  Tread water.  A sluggish slacker.  Stale and putrid.  Moseying along like Elsie, Borden’s Sweetened Condensed Milk’s contented cow, chewing my cud!  Enough already!

Obviously, the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes doesn’t commend sleepyheaded blanket pressers.  Hardly.  Read it and you’ll discover that the author dives headfirst into life.  Old King Solomon makes quite a splash.  Tries this, burrows into that.  Maybe life in too much fullness!

However, he concludes that contentment has eluded him.  Being malcontent, he breathes the foul, fetid air of meaninglessness as if life is passing him by.  Ever felt that way?

Ecclesiastes 7: 13-15–‘Consider what God has done:  Who can straighten what he has made crooked?  When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.  Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.  In this meaningless life of mine…’  See?

Our blood, sweat and tears will not prove to be long-lasting.  We’re easily replaced.  Yesterday’s headlines rarely register in our memory banks for more than a few months.  Money-grubbers end up leaving behind every thin dime in spite of spending their lives grabbing and glomming onto mountains of moola, dough and the tallest stack of greenbacks their grubby paws can grasp at.  Contentment?  Not!

So today’s Bible verses point us away from this world.  To where?  Of course, to the Lord of all.  Like that Gospel song– ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through’.  For believers, home is a mansion over the hilltop.  Where life will be packed to overflowing with meaning.  Best of all, we’ll be with Jesus.

God gives many promises.  But few specific guarantees.  Will you live to be a hundred?  Die before your children or grandchildren?  That your job will be effortless and well paid?  Churches rift-free?  Every day hunky-dory with gobs of peaches-and-cream to feast on?  Yeah, right.  Again, God’s promises clock in with fewer specific guarantees.

So, accept what comes.  Some things you can and must fight.  Others you dare not.  Pray for wisdom in an uncertain and untrustworthy world.

By the way, what does His level of contentment look like…to you?  Don’t put on the gas here.  Or shake a leg.  Slow down.  Apply the brakes.  Pull to the side of the road.  Chew on it for a bit.  Challenging, isn’t it?  Especially for the likes of me!

Contentment.

 

Thank you, Lord, that we can always trust you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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