Saturday, June 30, 2012

Contentment

I believe that God has given even the least among us those things they need to have "a life" that is independent of wealth, relationships, and experience. How often have we heard of the poor frightened soul on his deathbed who in a torrent of regret realizes the most horrible of all realities - that he is about to die... and he has never really lived.

What nonsense. The richest, most famous and celebrated human beings on the planet already have, or will, pass through the same portal as I will, possessionless and anxious, into our Maker's presence. At the point of entering eternity, having known the extravagances of travel, great possessions, relationships, and fame will pass with the same notoriety as yesterday's cup of coffee.

I've come to believe that there are really only two experiences in life... Our faith, and the distractions from our faith. Could it be that the poorest among us is he who can afford the most distractions? Is an hour spent on your knees in prayer a less monumental experience - or less real - than a Caribbean cruise or a trip to Hawaii? If a man walks with God, is he alone if he has no wife or family? If a child dies, has he really missed anything as he is gathered into the arms of Jesus at Heaven's gate?

Christianity allows a rapidly aging, untravelled, childless, and unloved old bachelor such as me an amazing freedom from regret, as I bathe in the contentment of knowing that this life is not the party, and that every disappointment and pain is a garment for my soul as it is readied for its trip home.

I believe that developing a spiritual life, a connection with the real world, is key to contentment. It is like developing a new consciousness, and a process that is only impeded by the craving for, and possession of, material things. If we spend our lives chasing the next possession... the next experience, comfort, relationship, or pleasure... we miss our portion, our God-given blessings that have nothing in common with the little illusions we so desperately build around us, seeking to grasp control of something of which we can never have control. Life was meant to be lived, but its fullest expressions are available to the timid as well as the bold, the plain as well as the pretty, and the poor as well as the rich. The best of life can take root in the poorest soil. It can blossom in the most unlikely heart.

In a few minutes I will go out and squat in my garden and pull weeds from my carrots. I will listen to songs of praise on my Walkman tuned to Moody radio. There will be a breeze on my face and the sun on my bare back. It may not be as good as Disneyworld. But I will be content.

I wrote this in August, 2006 I wrote better back then.  I still believe every word, and I still have as much trouble living what I believe. 

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6 comments:

Bekah said...

This is very beautifully written. Well done. And I haven't talked to you for ages...so I hope you're well!! I feel very out of the loop.

Malott said...

I'm fine... And very impressed you went to the Biltmore Estate... I just can't believe it's not air conditioned...

Delta Vines said...

"...an amazing freedom from regret, as I bathe in the contentment of knowing that this life is not the party, and that every disappointment and pain is a garment for my soul as it is readied for its trip home."

Priceless words Malott! May I quote you on my blog?

Malott said...

Help yourself, Delta...

Grammy said...

Pretty great and true stuff. I'll always be greatful for your spiritual clarity and bluntness. You had a tremendous impact on me decades ago, and I see you're still up to your old tricks. Peace be with you, my friend. I guess we even have to leave our precious tennis racquets behind when we enter into Glory.

Bekah said...

I couldn't believe it either. If they could imagine an indoor heated swimming pool in the 1890's...what held them back from air conditioning??????