The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. – Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
We live in a world of likes and dislikes, of appetites and preferences. It is a world fixated with satisfying passions only to tease with something new and better. As a father, I am dreading the day I first hear the words “I don’t like him; I LIKE him, like him” from my daughter because it is the beginning of a long series of personal soap operas I can’t turn off. As a husband, I am asked if I like the new blouse, the new hair, the new nails and hope I like the right things with the right intensity. It isn’t that there is anything innately wrong with liking something or someone, but we have put too high a value on what we like. (When I say “we,” I mean me).
I hate to admit it, but I like a lot of things and spend far too much time and energy to get those things than I should. TV, the internet, comfort food, Mountain Dew, quality time on the Wii and any number of other non-essentials crowd my day and leave me discontent. Maybe it is the difference between having a healthy relationship with these things and being infatuated with them.
I am worn out from being defined by my circumstances and appetites. I have tasted what it is like to have God define me in the midst of a circumstance, and it was good, but as it is with many of my brethren, it takes repetition to learn some lessons. It is humbling to realize that the way I feel about some things is no different from my daughter’s future dealings with boys. “I don’t like Mountain Dew; I LIKE it, like it.” How sad is that?
Fortunately I have a heavenly Father who is patient with my juvenile crushes with things that will not return my affections. I want to know the secret of being content, whether Wii-time is available or Mountain Dew is in the fridge. When it comes right down to it, what I really want is to love God more. Not just love Him, but LOVE Him, love him.