Last night during a family bike ride I experienced that deep sense of contentment following a deep breath and gratitude for peaceful moments. It doesn’t happen often. The weather was absolutely beautiful and all around us was green and growing or flowering. I had two sleepy boys riding in their trailer behind my bike. My daughter was following close behind with my husband pulling up the rear of our little caravan. This perfect ride was followed up by ice cream drumsticks on our front porch while we waited for the lighting bugs to appear. Times like these I realize how truly blessed some moments in time are and how little of anything it takes to make moments special.
So often my thoughts are invaded by this sense of longing for something better, something bigger, and something material to make me content. When I cave to those temptations and go out to purchase my contentment, the satisfaction quickly wanes and I discover something else that would make my life complete. Before I know it I’m on purchase number thirty five and I’m still not content with my wares. There is always something else on the store’s shelf that I don’t have and someone else does. It is odd how we deny attempting to keep up with the Jones’s, and yet it happens. I rarely ask myself, are the Jones’s really happy? Does their wealth or abundance truly make them content? What are they missing in their life as they try to fill it with things? Are they looking at my life with the same sense of self-malcontent?
In the end this is a grand illusion. Our ownership is a farce. Nothing I purchase will ever provide contentment. It won’t offer me happiness or a better chance at friendships. It definitely will not bless my children to train them to swim in an ocean of material goods all the while they drown alongside their parents in a sea of discontentment seeking for what really matters in life. We oftentimes raise our children like little kings and queens offering bits of plastic for a short lived high, don’t we? We treat ourselves like that too, I fear. I think I would rather live to deserve little simple moments of peace than live to glue together another bit of nothing when it breaks. I hope I can raise my children to feel this way as well.
We don’t own what we think we own. In an instant all that we spend our lives pursuing can go up in flames. In a second we are reminded of our creator when all we thought we owned is gone with one severe storm. If all we declare ownership of is swept away by the wind, we truly experience devastation. This illusion of ownership detracts from our purpose. It enslaves us. It owns us.
We don’t need what we think we need. We want. This illusion lies to us and trains us to be a slave to the world, a slave to all things material. It brainwashes us into believing that our children must have more things to be good or successful. It trains families to build their lives and happiness and worth in things. It creates competitors for enslavement. Who can be owned more than the other?
Last night I had that moment when I didn’t really need anything. My family was together. Contentment lives in simple moments. I want to be owned by the creator and nothing else. I do not want to be tied or enslaved to a grand illusion or train my children that ownership of this earth is real or good. There is one who owns and it is not us. In truth, the children and husband I lay claim are not mine, but His. All is His. All is to be used for Him. All we have is a blessing from Him. Loving the blessing more than The Bless-er is backward, isn’t it?
To be truly blessed is to understand that nothing creates contentment like gratitude for simple moments. Praise to the God of all creation. It is through Him and only Him that I am abundantly blessed.