The Dog Series… Can we ever be content--A sermon on the leash.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:6-9, 11

After about 3 miles of walking in the crisp morning air, a full dish of kibble, a bowl of ice cubes, and a downward dog stretch or two, my Sando slides, languidly, languorously into repose, and then into deep sleep. He is content. Contentment by definition is “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possession, status, or situation.” Today’s prayer for my husband is that he might be content.

In today’s instant-gratification, status conscious, FB over-sharing, ultra-competitive world, can we ever be content?? <<Click to Tweet

How often are you good with what is? Not complacent, which generally means what I have is good enough, but content, meaning what I have is good…For me, mastering contentment is about slowing down, listening, enjoying this place and this moment (spiritually, geographically, and temporally) before going on. Contentment is my happy place. And if you know anything about me at all, by my reckoning, happy places move all the time.

That your happy place moves does not mean you must continually seek it out. “Life is a journey, not a destination” - Ralph Waldo Emerson. Jeremiah Burroughs, writing in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (in the 17th century) declares,

 “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

A frame…what a useful illustration. Move the frame and the picture goes along.

Though I have prayed for my husband’s continued contentment (I am thankful that he is by no means discontent and humbly ask God that it might remain so), I seek, for myself, “sweet, inward, quiet” grace. I proclaim my desire to embody contentment, slowing down, listening, enjoying the places where I am and the moments I spend there to the fullest extent.

I don’t need to rush. There is enough time. God is in control. I can simply exhale. <<Click to Tweet

And with that, I am done, except to say, that walking my silly, lovely, spoiled, richly satisfied dog has again been the vehicle for my lesson. A sermon on the leash. 

Rochelle Wilson blogs at Treat Me to a Feast about her life lived forward, reviewed backward, through the lens of faith. She’s a PK (Pastor’s Kid), who’s been a Baptist church musician since she was five. Always a dancer and athlete, as an adult she turned to liturgical dance to deepen her personal worship.  It worked. Rochelle laughs a lot, is married to her first love and prom date nearly 20 years ago. Together God gave them two children and a boxer who is the other love of her life, confidante, therapist, and physical trainer.

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