The Heart of Discontentment

Babies, dream jobs, dating, brand new car… These and more are all over social media and for those who aren’t partaking in them, can cause an enormous amount of pain. The questions pop up over and over like a bad jingle: Why not me? What did I miss? What is wrong with me? When will it be my turn?

I have felt this pain so many times. I see someone being happy and I want to be happy too. I want to have that brand new shiny thing and be at the top of the world. This of course, is all under the belief that once I attain that thing, I will be happy. Whatever it is, is part of the puzzle for complete and eternal joy. Once I have it, it’s over. I won’t want anything else. Right. Let me tell you something: I have so much and I still catch myself feeling envious of someone else’s good fortune.

I realize that this is caused by two things. The first one is what I previously explained. Idolizing the happiness that something can bring us is an illusion based on any current pain or emptiness. Yes, there are many great things that will bring joy to our life, but let’s never think that pain will flee us then. Even those joys come with new pains, and until we put our trust in God and not in what those things can bring us, we will never get over it. The trust needs to be renewed and strengthened by faith.

Secondly, we let this longing be pain when we look at what we don’t have, instead of what we do have. We are discontent when we are ungrateful. Once again, I don’t intend to diminish wanting something for ourselves or the pain that comes from loneliness or failure. There is a time for mourning and there is a time for disappointment. Those shouldn’t encompass our life. We can’t live in that pain; it will consume us. We need to have courage and look at what surrounds us.

There is value in what we hold. It might have lost its shine or might not be having a good day, but the value has not left it. Quite the contrary: when we invest into it, like a house, the value increases. It requires a concerted effort to see the beauty in our normal. It requires even more effort to find that beauty in the mess. It is your mess, that you only get to live because you do have a car, or have children, or have a job that let’s you live somewhere. The idea is not to settle, but to see the worth of what you have now. Dreaming won’t take away that worth. Ungratefulness will definitely erase it from your life. The irony is that we always have something that others want. We are the poster child for someone else. While today it isn’t enough for you, for someone it is the world.

Let’s say thank you for what’s ours. A gracious attitude will help us get through our need, and will allow us to celebrate with those who are being blessed differently than us. Always remember that the grass is greener where you water it.

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