Prescription For Contentment

Along with her husband and children, Ella worked as a missionary with the pygmies in Africa for 52 years. She had left her family, her country, and all that was familiar.  Primitive doesn’t begin to describe her living conditions in the scorching heat and humidity of the African bush. But Ella found no relief because electricity, air-conditioning, and other modern conveniences were only a dream. Some days it was so unbearably hot that she had to bring the thermometer inside because it couldn’t register past 120 degrees without breaking.

Ella’s daughter, Mimi, is my friend. Mimi wondered how her mother had done it – how she had lived a life of contentment when her circumstances would have caused the hardiest to complain. Recently Mimi unearthed a treasure, a much more significant find than gold or silver. In an old diary of her mother’s she, discovered Ella’s prescription for contentment:

*Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather

*Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else

*Never compare your lot with another’s

*Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise

*Never dwell on tomorrow –remember that [tomorrow] is God’s, not ours

(From “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow)

How fitting to remember that you and me are right where we need to be. Not in someone elses shoes or walking a different road. Right here. Now. Today. For this moment. Oh, to rest in the sweet, fulfilling joy that yes, even amidst my falling and getting up again, I’m right where I need to be. Contentment is much more choice than it is feeling. May you find contentment today, now, wherever you find yourself to be…

“ I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.   I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13