What is it about us that is hard-wired to constantly be looking for the next thing to make us happy. Is it rooted in our sin condition; this idea that we’re unable to be content with where we are and with what we have?
Many of the students who I am in contact with have this condition as well. “If I could just go back home” or “if I went to a different school” or “if I had a different boyfriend/girlfriend” then things would be better or different. There are a lot of complaints related to looking for something else that they currently are not experiencing.
For many of the kids who come to school at Flandreau this is the most structured environment they have ever had to be in so rebellion becomes a natural reaction. They have never had to keep a class schedule because they barely went to school a number of days in a row at home let alone a number of hours in a row. They have never had a curfew because there were few functioning adults at home that kept any sort of order. It can be a difficult transition for many who have never had any sort of organization in their lives.
Many of us as adults are the same way. If we could just have a promotion or a new house or a new car or even a new spouse or relationship then our lives would be different and we could find contentment. The problem is we never get there. We get what we want and we find it doesn’t bring us anymore satisfaction than we had before.
Paul said in Philippians 4 “I've learned to be content in whatever situation I'm in. I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I've learned the secret of how to live when I'm full or when I'm hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little.” If we could all just reach this same level of contentment we’d be much better off.
But then Paul goes ahead and shares the secret of his contentment: “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” He gives us the strength we need to endure trials and even to look around and consider how God is blessing us despite the trials we’re going through. It’s much easier to make a list of the things that we don’t have rather than list the things that God has already provided.
I hope you’ll take a minute to enjoy what He has already provided instead of wasting your time on “if only’s.” Be content and make the most of exactly where He’s placed you for the present.