I've been thinking a lot this week about contentment. I have so much to be thankful for... trying a new recipe, hearing Sasha snoring next to me on the sofa after her mini stroke last week, enjoying a late breakfast "out" with Christopher as he updates me on his life, chatting with Stephanie on the cell phone ... and temperatures in the 70s!
Then why is it that I felt uncomfortable when my husband's former fraternity brother picked him up for a day on campus? Would I have felt the same if he had come to the door of our former house, the large two story colonial? For the most part, the furniture is the same and like that house we have a pretty front porch. The only difference, this house is quite small and I knew he lived in a mini mansion.
My husband's friend had followed a very similar college and career path but there the similarities ended. Instead of losing many jobs over the years (at times due to the economy, often because of his illness) like my husband, his friend had been with the same company his entire life... receiving promotions and retiring early with money, position in the community, and power. The very stuff of life to which we once aspired.
I was quite surprised by the reaction I felt as they left for the University. I thought I was past those feelings... inadequacy, coveting another's way of life, getting tired of counting pennies as I watch others spend hundreds of dollars without thinking... so much that comes with health and money challenges.
There, buried deep within, were emotions hidden for sometime but obviously still simmering below the surface. For all I'm normally content in my lovely little house filled with books and tea stuff, comforts of soft furniture and inherited antiques, daffodils and violets, watching Last of the Summer Wine late at night since the antennae was installed, enjoying my quiet times in the early morning... good things... the truly best life has to offer.
The fact I even noticed those ugly emotions rising to the surface is proof I've come a long way from those days when I was working for money, position, power... the things this world has to offer. Not that it is wrong when we are given those things as gifts from God. I know lovely people who wear money and power well... people who have the ability to balance power with humility, wealth without greed.
I suppose what is tested during these times is... am I truly content and do I honestly trust the path God has given? That is a question we all must ask ourselves as we travel through life, walking the cobblestone path of God's Will.
For it is in the looking past that we know contentment today and faith for tomorrow... knowing those times we thought we were walking alone and in darkness, He was there all the time. Would I want to change anything? Not at all. For every challenge made Him more real... pure gold rather than the sugar candy I was after... that which is just illusion and glitz and glitter... that which melts in the rain.
For I have learned to be content on the cobblestone road of life and appreciative of the good stuff He gives along the way.