Thursday, August 12, 2010

Safe and Content

Safe and Content. These words usually follow one another in our common vernacular. To be safe, secure, is to be content. Contentment follows all of your circumstances lining up to outline a secure place for you - whether its your home, job, family, etc. But Biblically? I'm not sure if these words really belong together.

I listed to a message today about contentment that was centered around Phil. 4:11-19.
"...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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....My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

So while in prison Paul writes to those in Philippi that he has learned how to be content. I'm not in prison, in fact I'm living comfortably, have employment, a family that loves me, and yet I am incontent. Part of the message included an admonition to be thankful for what we do have, rather than resent what we think we're missing.


Now what about safe? Paul was certainly not safe or secure, and yet he was content. I think my personal issue with what is 'safe' at this point in my life has little to do with physical comfort or security. I am concerned that my life is too 'safe' - that I am too afraid to venture away from a comfort zone I am already familiar with. What could I be missing out in life because I am unable to see a path out of this comfort zone?

I've already mentioned that I don't think my current job is where I need to be right now. But it is there, and while I have it, I am secure and I have everything I need to live comfortably. So I suppose my biggest question for myself, is why do I feel the need to flee my comfort zone? Is it because I feel like the grass must be greener somewhere else? Do I want a new life because I think think I lack contentment with my current one or because I think it's too safe and God has more out there for me? Can it be both?

For me, it's get's down to the issue of patience. I want to invest in new opportunities, but I want these to grow right away. I want to control my circumstances and watch things change before me. I SHOULD wait for God to present me with the opportunities He has planned for me. I confess to being impatient while waiting for my life to change.

Now I need to ask God to teach me to be content while I wait in Limbo, not knowing where He wants me to move, or even if He wants me to move. To be content while I wait for Him to show me what I should be doing right now, and if it is my current occupation and circumstances, that I am content with that as well.

It's funny how when we stop looking for something, we find it. I had given up on looking for something, had settled in, and decided that the best course of action was to let what might happen, happen. God would put it in my path when I was ready for it. And so when I stop looking, and I feel caught unprepared, God drops it in on me. Now I don't know what to do with myself. It's such a nascent thing He's given me to take care of... I can't bring myself to trust that it's real. I always find doubt creeping in to tell me that it's not really there. Now, I again need to find or learn patience as I wait for this thing to grow from something new and small, or if it doesn't grow, I need to learn contentment.

I realize that's cryptic... but my job, my life, whatever my purpose is, I suppose I need to stop looking. When you stop looking, is usually when you find things. I pray that by not trying to control my own circumstances, I can make room for God, and for Him to drive my circumstances.

No comments:

Post a Comment