Posts Tagged ‘contentment’

If anyone thinks that Christianity is not about freedom, he/she is sadly mistaken. Even old Paul says it outright: everything is permitted. Well, all right, there is a proviso, the dogged “but” that does present constraints. And yet, the constraints are upon us to choose.

I Corinthians 6:12
Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.

I am reminded of that silly Jim Carrey movie, “Bruce Almighty,” in which he is given the power to do anything and everything. At first, he is like a child with paybacks, self-interests, and casual decisions. But eventually, he gets it: his choices affect others. He, too, had to limit his power on purpose. In the end, he was content to give that power back to God.

I can constrain myself each day by choice. I can use my intelligence to determine what is good, expedient, or even logical. I can use my feelings and sensitivity to discern the needs of others. I can use my will to avoid becoming a slave to anything. But truthfully, I’m not very good at it.

Instead, I can put my trust in Christ who can and will navigate all of this for me, if I allow it. I’m not very good at that yet either.

The “let go, let God” cliche is based on this principle of trusting God with the constraints as well as the freedoms. If I could really “get this,” like the Bruce Nelson character, I would know true contentment.

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Acts 2:28; Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence. [Amplified]

David spoke as Jesus and Peter speaks for both. In either case, the path of life is laid out before them and in it there is promised joy. The trick is staying on the path.

If I had to pick words that typify my life, I cannot say that “joy” would be one of them. I cannot blame anyone but myself for this. I have strayed from the path of life many times. Of course, these course corrections are only evident in hindsight. At the time of choice, there is only that, my choice. I’m not sitting there thinking, “oh, I’m getting off this path of joy and striking out on my own.” No, I’m thinking I’m still on the right path for me.

Please don’t misunderstand me. The path of life… the path of joy… is not without struggle and even pain. The path is best known for our abandon to God’s way, a divine destiny. I’m not sure we are even aware of the true path, not really. Just calling oneself a Christian does not necessarily mean we are on the path of joy either.

Am I in God’s presence? Am I engaging God in my life? Am I including God in my decisions? Am I sharing my way with others? Am I really interested in experiencing joy?

Joy is not “happy.” Joy is contentment and conscious companionship with God in Christ.

I have always wondered what it means to pray without ceasing… today, I wonder, isn’t it really just Christ consciousness without ceasing? God is with me. Christ is in me. I am not alone. In this place, there is joy.

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Psalm 47:2
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!

This morning I was really floundering around as I looked for a verse or thought that I could meditate upon and then write about. My mind was like an empty cave: nobody home! My prayer life tends to operate so much on the edge, on the stress side of things: asking, begging, pleading, hoping, longing, crying out to God for something, for help. When the cave is empty of fears and anxieties, I’m a little lost. 🙂 I’m not used to a contented or calm interior self. That’s amazing!

And so, I give thanks for the “Om” within today. I give thanks to the King of the Earth, who is sovereign over all that is without and within. I give thanks and praise to the God of my mind, my heart, my soul.

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