“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Philippians 4:11b One of the greatest blessings in my life was being raised by a mother, who is an example of this verse. I remember Mom saying quite often that it was something she learned from her dad. My grandpa was a strong, gentle, quiet man. Never one to complain, he carried on in life enjoying the things he loved.
As was common in his day, he didn’t have much in the way of “book learning”, but he was amazingly talented in a variety of areas. He was incredibly hard-working, could build anything using only the blueprint in his head, was always messing with the “techy” things of his day (I think that’s where I get my love for technology) and was a master gardener.
Grandpa worked for 30 years in a tire plant in Topeka. I spent a lot of time in my grandparents home and remember very vividly how he whistled contentedly upon returning home from work each afternoon. After his retirement, much to everyone’s amazement, he said he felt like he’d been freed from prison. None of us knew that he didn’t like his job one bit…but it was a good job, and one that provided for his family. He was content in the circumstance God gave him.
That is truly amazing to me. I can’t imagine being able to spend 8 hours a day at a job I really didn’t like, come home whistling and never complain to anyone. I have a bad 10 minutes and will talk about it to anyone who will listen. I worry about tomorrow, when I could be enjoying today. I can honestly say that in many areas of my life I am content, but being content in all circumstances is something I aspire to.
The dictionary defines content as a state of peaceful happiness. Some synonyms for the word content are satisfied, pleased, gratified, fulfilled, happy, cheerful, and glad. My favorites though are unworried, untroubled, at ease, at peace, tranquil, and serene. No matter what our circumstance, whether it be a job, a financial situation, a period of adjustment due to changes in our life, a broken relationship – whatever circumstance that is hard for us to be content in – we need to learn to be unworried, untroubled, at ease, at peace, tranquil and serene. God knows – he sees the circumstance we are in and He’s not going to leave us there – He will see us THROUGH!! He wants us to be unworried, untroubled and serene!
Grandpa spent many years in an undesirable circumstance, but he enjoyed life and doing the things he loved. He didn’t dwell on the things he didn’t like or allow them to change his attitude. He came home whistling every day. And God allowed him to retire early, to spend many more years on this earth spending all day doing what he loved. Now he’s in heaven – probably helping build all our mansions and working on the infrastructure of technology I can’t even dream of! So, until I’m able come to that complete place of being content in all circumstance, I’ll try to follow his example and whistle a happy tune!!