The little boy was throwing a fit all the way out to the car, mad because Mommy wouldn’t buy him one of those cheap toys that line the checkout aisle. My mom told me the story another mom had shared about her shopping trip with her son. That little boy didn’t know that his Christmas presents were safely tucked away in the trunk, better and bigger and more expensive toys than the object of his tantrum. If only you knew, his mother thought, what I have planned to give you? It’s worth so much more than what you think you want.
I have always thought contentment meant gratitude in the face of ongoing hardship, or choosing to look for the silver lining when it’s hard to be patient for an answer to prayer. In my mind, contentment involved a kind of teeth-gritting, self-bracing choice to be grateful despite all of the obvious reasons not to be. Whenever I thought of contentment, this is what I pictured – stubborn happiness in spite of whatever else is going on.
My definition of being content was missing an important component: reality. Continue reading Why I’m Not Trying to Be Content