CONTENTMENT

Being content or satisfied is perhaps the greatest lacuna in today’s world. Contentment is being happy in what you have, accepting the way you are and being temperate in what you aim for.

Rather than being content, people today are engulfed in a restlessness that makes them miserable. Not being content stems from man’s insatiable desire- the desire to have more, be more and accomplish more. Today’s interconnected world where we receive constant input from others around the world is perhaps the greatest deterrent to contentment. There is always someone who has more, is more and does more than you and that eats away at the contentment you could have had.

The story of Aanan, the Asian bull elephant, is poignant. Things could not be better as roamed through the jungles. He was the biggest and strongest bull anyone in the area had even seen. He ruled his herd and was feared by his opponents and respected by his herd and compatriots. One day he receives an invitation to attend an exclusive animal conference at Dubai. After confirming that the invitation was no spam, he sets forth and meets up with the most amazing animals from all over the world. He also comes face to face with Tembo, the African bull elephant. For the first time in his life, Aanan finds himself facing someone bigger than him. Not only so, Tembo had larger ears and bigger tusks than he. On the trip back home, Aanan was engulfed with a deep restlessness. What if he could develop tusks as large as Tembo? What if he could be as large as Tembo? He landed home and made the decision that he would be leaving for Africa in pursuit of true greatness. Though advised by Rafiki, the wise monkey, not to leave his herd and his home, he finally lands in Africa. Painstakingly he works day and night, eating food he disliked and braving through the loneliness to build a bigger body and longer tusks,——- but he wanted them longer. Tembo advised him to stay with him and his herd, so that he would be safe in the unfamiliar land. But Aanan was not used to playing second fiddle to anyone and he would often wander off alone. What he failed to realize was that while Tembo and his ilk had longer tusks, they were also the target of poaching and had over the years accumulated knowledge of how to avoid the routes poachers took. Finally one day, the poachers caught up with Aanan and maimed him, took his tusks and left him for dead. Tembo’s herd found him and nursed him back to life and health. Maimed, broken and humbled, Aanan returned home, a pale shadow of himself, and died a miserable death.

Paul’s words in the Bible are illuminative , “—godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it” (1Timothy 6:6,7).

Godliness is that attitude which unites you with God and allows you to reflect His nature through you. Faith in the saving work of Christ on the cross, is the bridge that overcomes the chasm of sin in our lives and truly unites us with God. Thereafter realizing that nothing we are or own or accomplish will accompany us to the grave releases us from the restlessness that is so pervasive and leads us on the road to contentment. Being happy with our lot and being temperate in our aims including our life and ministry goals brings contentment and peace.

4 thoughts on “CONTENTMENT

  1. Stephen

    I really liked the story and it showed me how we shouldn’t be restless but more calm. Being humble also helps us make good decisions. It was a really good passage.

  2. Rachel

    In today’s world where there are always people who have more, comparing yourself to them makes you feel discontented with yourself. We are uniquely made by God and we have to be happy with that

  3. bimal

    Well put. The passage is well written and informative. While grown ups like me understand what is being said, it is very hard for the young to grasp this.
    Even when they understand the concept, it is difficult to put into practice. How do you suggest the youth and even the adults put this in practice?

    1. pilgrim Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Bimal. So easy to state, so hard to put into practice—that’s what I find, looking at myself.

      Perhaps you would agree that the young embrace invincibility and ambition; but with age comes wisdom, but only if with the years we accumulate, we are careful to learn from our experiences.

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