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To Be Content in Life

Posted 10/31/2017

How are you doing?  Are you feeling satisfied with your possessions, your current life stage, and your loved ones?  Have you ever wanted more or asked God for ways to upgrade your life or standard of living?


I have.  Many times.


Not that I am greedy or doubt God--as revealed in my previous posts that I have had doubts in God regarding my personal desires and whether He will fulfill them for me--but, like everyone else, we are affected by the world.  I believe not many of us are fully satisfied with all aspects of our lives, as we always strive to improve.  Isn't it in us to desire better things?  I often wonder about that.


However, I was reminded at a charity presentation last Friday to be grateful and content with my life and possessions. 


The charity dinner and presentation was held by Light and Love Home--a global charitable organization that serves the community and cares for the needy.  It also emphasizes on preaching the Gospel to give people God's light and love.  The presentation featured sharing by volunteers and photos from their trip to various countries in Africa to support the school programs and orphanages. 


I myself haven't been to any third-world countries.  Viruses, insects, and having to take cold showers with unclean water are enough reasons for me not to sign up for such trips, although the rewards are often great, as the volunteers wiped the orphans and others' sadness off by playing with them and telling them about God's abundant love.  Not to mention the volunteers also dealt with extreme heat, cultural differences, and dangers such as robberies, accidents, or assaults.  I'd fill with admiration and be thankful whenever the volunteers return from these trips.


During the presentation, we watched a video about the kids' tough lives and also the joy they have at the orphanage.  From being neglected by their parents and surviving on rotten food in garbage bins to singing and playing joyfully with the coordinators and volunteers at the orphanage, the kids live a simple yet fulfilling life.  They don't have much to play with: maybe simple toys or basketballs or soccer balls on an uneven field or court with makeshift hoop or goal.  But they looked content and happy.  I wasn't a complainer when I was a child, but I had abundance of toys to play with, such as Lego blocks and action figures.  Growing up in Hong Kong, such toys were almost necessities, with video games as greater prestige like what my cousins had.  Compared to the orphans, I was greatly blessed.


As I became an adult living in a first-world country, it is difficult at times to be grateful for my life.  Many people I know went on to obtain greater things and better lives, and it's human nature that I also want that, maybe not extremely wealthy, but at least be equal to their lifestyles and living standards.  This mindset is even more apparent for me as a Christian, since others at church seem to have more or better than I have.  But the photos and stories reminded me how contentment can bring you joy, or contrarily speaking, how discontentment can bring you pain.  The orphans have little--barely a full set of clothing or matching sandals, not to mention lack of parental love or a broken childhood--and yet I am dissatisfied with my life, when I have a stable shelter, when I can take warm shower everyday, have enough to eat, and many sets of clothes and shoes to wear?  


No, I didn't just want more or better possessions or living standards; I wanted a better status!  After all, I live in a developed country, where men grown men who either live in his parents' basement or are unmarried and barely have a career or stable income are beinfrowned upon!  But those are exactly what they are--social statuses.  Why would I need higher social status when God already gave me the highest identities as His dearest child and the Lord's eternal darling?  What social status would I have if I die tomorrow?  No one lives forever, and we are created by God and for God, not for this world.  This alone should make me feel content in life, just like the orphans do. 


May we always be content and satisfied in God.

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