Total Life Blog   |  Happy as a Bird with a French Fry

Happy as a Bird with a French Fry

I have a really hard time being content. There, I said it. Being content is hard and humble and I struggle with it every day. What’s being content, anyway? I live in Southern California, we have everything we want and can buy anything we don’t already have. I have a running wish list on Amazon that has my next wants in queue right after Christmas passes. I get all my necessities off my weekly shopping list and can’t wait to spend the rest on my WANTS. When the money runs out for this week, I’m constantly thinking about buying it next pay period.

Every so often God and I have a little chat and He reminds me of how blessed I am. I am in good health, I have a loving husband, I am intelligent, I have a roof over my head, I have made good decisions, I have a good job (even if I don’t love it), I am in a relationship with the Savior of the universe. Ok- I guess I am in pretty good place and am content.

But then I take a look around and start comparing. Oops, too late. My contentedness starts to slip.  Teddy Roosevelt was right when he said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

When I finally start obtaining my wants, they’re great for awhile. Then they start to get tarnished with new wants. I want a bigger house, more of this and more of that.  I realize it’s a bit of a slap in the face to God. After all, He is providing everything to me in the first place and why isn’t it good enough for me? What is wrong with me? If Paul can be confined to prison for years by himself and write something like this, why can’t I be happy with having only 5 pairs of jeans and not 6:

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (Philippians 4:11-12)

Ahh, so there’s a secret.  I KNEW IT! So Paul, what is it? Oh, it’s in the next verse: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Paul, are you sure? I don’t really think that’s a secret. I’ve heard this a million times in Sunday school and my friends all told me this when I was trying to get into college or broke up with a boyfriend.

I’ve realized that when we look at this verse, we tend to focus on the first part “I can do all things,” more than anything else. It’s liberating to know that I can do anything I want because God loves me, right? That’s what my relationship with Him gets me- super powers. Wrong.  If Paul were here he would be hitting us over the head with his parchment paper, telling us to look at the last part, “through him who strengthens me.” What does that mean, through him? It means that I will always struggle with contentment. It means that God allows me to struggle because it will force me to go to him and him alone to overcome it every day. It means that without him, I will never be content. He is the salve for my wanting heart, the joy for my discontentment. Through him I will I will be content, for it’s impossible to be content without him.

So as I navigate through today, I remember that I CAN be content, if I let God help me. I can even be as happy as a bird with a french fry. And let’s be honest, that’s pretty happy.


Author: Karly Wood

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