Do you remember what Christmas felt like when you were a kid? Do you remember that BIG gift you wanted? THE one big gift you craved all year long? Good.
Do you remember how you felt when you unwrapped your BIG gift on Christmas morning? Did you play with the thing you received the next week? What about the next month? The rest of the year? I’m betting your answer is like mine, a big fat NO.
Ever wonder how that made your parents feel? Knowing that the shiny new thing you asked for was now diligently collecting dust in the corner must have made them feel unenthusiastic about having purchased it for you in the first place.
How then, do you think it makes God feel when we convince ourselves that it’s just too hard to find the time to pause and tell Him ‘thank you’?
What would happen if, when you opened up the BIG gift from your parents, you began to scream THANK YOU! Not only that, but what would happen if your parents caught you playing with and enjoying that gift they gave you every day?
I don’t know about you, but if my kid did that, I’d feel like the best dad in the world! I’d want to spend time with him on the floor playing and talking and having fun with his Christmas gift.
It would also make me want to give him more of the things he asked for. My kid’s gratefulness and delight in the gift I gave him would make me smile. His contentment would make me want to be closer to him to further enhance his interaction with his new Christmas gift.
I would feel that way. I’d like to think that’s exactly how God would feel too.
What would happen if we were to delight in the blessings and gifts He gives us every day of the year all while shouting THANK YOU? How much more would we enjoy our time here on this Earth? It boggles my pea brain when I attempt to wrap my head around the answers to questions like that.
It’s only after I decide to stop and say “thank you” to my creator that I become equipped with the blessing of contentment.
But, I have a confession to make. I like stuff! What’s more, marketers know how much I like stuff. They help to mold a culture here in the U.S. that tells me all the time that I NEED more stuff. The truth is, there will always be a new (FILL IN THE BLANK).
I’ve found that the more I pursue the things that are truly meaningful, the less I’m tempted to chase after things that are meaningless.
I’ve heard it said that the idea of contentment in this culture can sometimes be a moving target. And when I catch myself chasing after more stuff, I’m reminded of just how much I want to replace the frustration of chasing after things that always change, with the joy and peace of having the things that will never change.
The first time I stopped to look around and said a tiny prayer of thanks for the blessings I’d been given, I felt wealthy. For the very first time I got to experience the full impact of 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV) “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” And for the first time in a long time, I felt satisfied. I realized, I already had more than enough. I had Christ.
But, how is a Christian supposed to define ENOUGH in a culture that drags us toward more? I believe 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (NIV) tells us how:
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
Have you counted your blessings lately? Are you decently healthy? Did you get enough to eat today? Are you wearing shoes? Are your wife and kids safe? Have they been fed? Do you have a roof over your head? Does your car work and have fuel? Then I’d say you’re doing well.
I’ve found that when I humble myself daily, and pause to be thankful for the glut of blessings and gifts God’s given me, the lens through which I see my world changes. Suddenly, the goals of the marketers fall flat. Suddenly, ENOUGH is once again revealed to me. I’m convinced that being equipped with contentment only comes from a consistent, daily time, for me to stop and talk to God and listen to His voice by reading His word.
That’s my prayer for you today, that you will get the opportunity to experience the life altering feeling of “enough” that only come from a consistent relationship with Jesus. Merry Christmas!
Clint Walkingstick runs Walkingstick Design in Oklahoma City and was one of the first big supporters of this website. According to his bio, Clint describes himself: “I read, draw, swim, play guitar, play with legos, live debt free, design stuff that makes me happy, and design stuff that helps awesome folks do fun things that pay their bills.” You can follow Clint on Twitter @clintprint and check all some of his awesome graphic design work on Dribble.