You have seen this journal spread before. This learning contentment thing is not easy. In fact it's hard. And I am trying to figure out the difference with being content with how things are...but still dreaming dreams. I think they co-exist. They have to...we must have dreams.
I am reading "The Greener Grass Conspiracy" and the author say this, "Contentment is first and foremost a matter of the heart. It's possible to deny yourself every worldly pleasure and still be discontent...Self-denial doesn't automatically lead to contentment. In fact, self-denial can cause us to miss opportunities to enjoy wonderful gifts from God. Steak is a gift from God. Coffee is a drink that is 95 percent heavenly. When I eat a medium-rare steak and give thanks to God for the happiness that is occurring in my mouth, I honor God. Self-denial does not equal contentment. On the flip side, it's possible to have everything this world has to offer and still be furiously discontent. King Solomon's life was a constant pleasure cruise. He really did have everything this world could offer - money, women, power, luxury, and all the alcohol he could drink. Yet after a life of hedonistic exploits, Solomon made the following observation.
Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had
expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving
after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
Having it all doesn't equal contentment."
He also says, "Contentment is a disposition of the heart that freely and joyfully submits to God's will, whatever that will may be."
So being content doesn't mean I do not or cannot desire things. God give us desires. But I do have to ask myself, do I desire the thing more than I desire God or his will in a certain situation?
You know this Christian life, journey is such an organic thing. It's not this list of things we can and cannot do. It's an ongoing process...relationship is a better word.
So this is where I have landed for now. I say for now because God continues to teach me, changing my heart and mind where I sees things incorrectly.
There are a few dreams that seem to keep hanging on...I have asked God to remove them if they are not also his dreams for me. To keep me on the right path. But I am learning to be content where he has me right now. It may be those dreams will come to fruition...but it will be in his timing not mine. As I keep plugging along my prayer is that he adjusts my thoughts, desires, dreams where they are not in keeping with his for me...but I keep dreaming.
I would love to hear about your journey.
Grace and Peace