Our snowy season has finally arrived, and now four inches blanket the ground. Part of me feels as if Christmas has finally arrived…the lights and decorations never look quite right until there is a snow on the ground. Introducing my granddaughter to snow has been fun, but mostly we’ve enjoyed being cozy and quiet indoors for the past few days.
This past Sunday as I putter around, preparing to go over to church early for worship team practice, a thought occurs to me: the aging process makes practicing contentment even more of a necessity than ever. There is surely no point in dwelling in the past, when I was physically able to do things that I probably will never do again, even if the opportunity arose. There is no reason to long for an imagined future…next big milestone for most of us after 50 is either retirement or death. Since I’m self-employed, well–there you are.
Contentment means that I embrace the present, I accept that THIS is where I am, at this time in history, in THIS town, THIS house, with THIS set of friends and relations. There are many things that I cannot change. Now more than ever I need to seek what God wants me to do with the resources that I have right now.
Because right now is all I have.
In truth, it’s all any of us has. But it’s easier to ignore or deny that when one is young and strong. When the aches and pains kick in and simple tasks get harder, then I have to face the fact that I have no idea how many more earth days I have left. That can be scary, or depressing, or I can see it as a challenge not to waste any more time. “Redeem the time because the days are evil,” says the Psalmist.
Contentment is active trust, saying to the Lord, “This is where You have put me, and You have work for me to do here. Please show me.” This is a lesson I learned long ago, and one I’ve taught many times since. Recently I think I’d lost sight of it. Now is a good time to put it into practice once more.
Happy New Year!