When my grandchildren ask me what I did when I was young, I find my answers to be simplistic. In an age of electronic games, multiple sports teams, and personal phones that often isolate us from real human contact, telling my little people about roller skating with old metal skates, climbing backyard trees, riding a hand-me-down bike, and getting excited over our first color television set seem other-worldly! But we were happy with what we had, and I still smile today when I think about those simple blessings.
During some of these talks, I have told the story of how their great-grandfather didn’t have indoor plumbing until age 12, or how ice cream was a homemade treat that he rarely tasted while growing up. I think the favorite story, though, is of the tin bathtub that sat next to the old stove in the kitchen where he bathed as a very small child—the stove adding a little warmth to the chilly air in the winter months.
Little pleasures afforded us in childhood become treasures in our adult minds that bring joy when we remember. But discontentment is never far away from the soul. The human eye has a tendency to wander, seeing what it wants but does not possess. Jealousy and ungratefulness are its fruits in our heart, stealing the contentment in our spirit. Better to be thankful and recognize all God has given us than to chase after the winds of “never enough:”
What the eyes see [enjoying what is available] is better than [craving] what the soul desires. This too is futility and chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 6:9
Distractions that bring the pangs of discontentment are all around us. Keeping our eyes on the blessings God has already given into our hands is one way that we love Him. May our souls be content.