Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Secret

Want to have a happy life? Want to find joy even in the hard times? Here is the secret:

Like what you've got. Want what you have.

That's it. Admittedly, this goes against culture's tidal waves of commercials, enticements, and created needs, but if you can work with this, learn it, and live it, you will find peace and contentment. "Godliness with contentment is great gain," says Paul (1 Tim.6:6). If Paul could find a way to be content when he was pursued by hordes of his own brethren, mocked, beaten regularly, and marked for death... maybe he knew a secret we need to know!

Some will say that they can't be content because, unlike others, they were dealt a terrible hand. Okay -- some people seem to have less stuff, more pain, more disaster, and fewer friends than the bulk of mankind... but what of it? Or, more correctly, what are you going to do about it? You can only play the cards you've been dealt. How can you make the best of it?

Look at your mate -- the one you've complained about (at least silently). Women marry men hoping they'll change, and they don't. Men marry women hoping they won't change, and they do. Yikes. Over time, when passion is allowed to fade and life intrudes, we tend to find fault with our mate... but look at them. Please.

They're beautiful. Maybe not Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue beautiful, but beautiful nonetheless. He's handsome, maybe not Mel Gibson before he went nutso handsome, but handsome nonetheless. There are things to admire in their bodies and personalities. There are gifts there, if you are content to receive what they can give. Make your life together a voyage of discovery, where you are dedicated to helping them develop, grow, enjoy their life, and feel free to give their gifts in return. Learn about them. There are no boring or useless people. Everyone has something special living in their minds and hearts. Search for it and enjoy the search as much as you enjoy the finding.

Experience the joy of giving away, rather than buying. Since you want what you have and like what you've got, you really don't need or seek for anything more. Take one of those things that have blessed your life and give it to someone else so that they, too, can be blessed.

Experience the joy of serving the ones you have -- up to this point -- liked least. Find out what they like, what they need (or think they need), and what interests them and supply that as much as you can. If they fail to react, so what? The joy was in the doing. We aren't looking for a payoff. We do what we do because we are content and at peace with God.

Want what you've got. Like what you have.



At 8/16/2006 09:29:00 AM , Blogger reJoyce said...

I'm in the midst of a move so I am at the point of wanting to get rid of most of what I've got. Excellent advice that I will try to remember when I'm tempted to replace all the stuff I get rid of here in the next couple of months! Thanks for the reminder.

At 8/16/2006 09:49:00 AM , Blogger Jim MacKenzie said...

Thanks for writing my sermon on contentment and generosity for this week! Just kidding! I already have it done, but it's interesting how different people's thoughts coincide isn't it? Merely coincidence?

Great stuff as usual.

At 8/16/2006 12:37:00 PM , Blogger That Girl said...

Well... I love what you're saying even if it does step on my marketing/advertising toes!

At 8/16/2006 01:37:00 PM , Blogger Mike Jones said...

Thank you for that challenge. It is so easy to forget that God has already blessed us with everything that we need. It is good to know that each of us struggle with this. I pray that I can live this message and not just read it.

At 8/16/2006 05:20:00 PM , Blogger Paul said...

By George, you have it figured out! Congratulations, my boy!

At 8/17/2006 07:41:00 AM , Blogger k2 said...

i guess i am supposed to get this since this is about the third time this concept has been taught/read/or i have read about this past week. i want to be content, because it is said that the thing a rich person wants is the same thing us 'poor' folk want; a little bit more.

At 8/20/2006 05:53:00 AM , Blogger Todd Mogilner said...

I have decided I don't like Patrick's blog anymore because everything he writes convicts me....

Ok ok so I love the blog and appreciate the things he writes on and appreciate the straight , easy to understand honesty from him.

What difficult challenges you put out there, Patrick. It sounds so easy but our minds can come up with 100's of reasons why we can't be happy.

At 8/22/2006 09:50:00 PM , Anonymous TinaMarie said...

Wow!!! I have been praying about being content at my current job while also trying to deal with the need to have more income to cover the living expenses for me and my sister's family. It's a challenge to be content and trust God 100% to meet the needs of the family. Yet he always has and always will. God used this message to remind of the need to be content and look to him as my provider. THANKS.

At 8/23/2006 08:54:00 PM , Blogger DJG said...

This post has stayed in my head for several days. Today I am linking to it on my blog.

Thanks for your sage advice.


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