If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this generation, it’s this – we don’t understand contentment. It’s a foreign word. We are constantly a million miles ahead of ourselves, wondering when we’ll be the ones with the ring on our finger, the ones living in the suburbs, the house with a white picket fence. We can’t wait to graduate, whether high school or college. We can’t wait to grow up. We want what’s next, now. For us, it’s all about the next stage, the next achievement, the “better than now” stage. For me, it’s always been about the next stage, until now.
I was recently challenged to look at my life. To view everything as it is – good and bad. To not complain about my current stage, but to thrive in it, knowing that in moments when I feel like the grass is greener on the other side, it’s important to realize that it’s not.
Being content is realizing that everyone is on their own journey, uniquely written for them. Why would we ever want to walk someone else’s journey when we have our own incredible story in front of us? There will be moments when others' lives appear to be more appealing than our own. Moments when we watch the ones we love do incredible things and we wish we were doing the same things. But what if the purpose of our personal journey, no matter how painful or how boring they may seem, was to make us better, to strengthen us to be great?
So often we miss our purposes because we’re so busy trying to live someone else’s life. We want to live vicariously through people’s Instagram feeds, by basically creating what we want our life to appear like, when in reality, our lives are messy, just like everyone else’s. Be OK with the mess. Immerse yourself in it; build something spectacular out it. The beautiful thing about our mess is that we are constantly being rebuilt. We are remade. God writes our stories and journeys for us, not for anyone else. That’s what contentment is. We get to learn to love thriving in our current state, because we finally come to a place where we know that is exactly where we belong. To follow Jesus and to follow His path is to know that it is not easy. We’re not called to be comfortable. We’re called to be uncomfortable as we follow Jesus, to thrive and to ultimately find contentment in that.
We’re called to stand on our grass, no matter how torn up, shriveled, dirty or dead it may be. We should be proud to be broken, because brokenness radiates God’s incredible grace and His power to rebuild our brokenness into something indescribable. God calls us to contentment, knowing that His story for us is the best story. He wants us to thrive where He has placed us, without fear of the future, without damaging comparison, rid of any lingering bitterness towards the path He has set for us. He wants us, free of “what if’s” and “if only”. Instead He wants us to focus on the “right now.” Not tomorrow, not next week—right now, this very moment. What does that look like for us?
In those moments when you feel like life possibly couldn’t get worse, when you’re mulling over the fact that your life didn’t turn out the way you thought, that death shouldn’t have happened, or wishing that brokenness hadn’t taken root, know that what truly matters is the grass you’re standing on, not your neighbor’s, not your best friend’s, not your family’s. Your grass is what is important. Stand on it proudly. When it dies, water it. When it flourishes, thrive in it. Learn to view your world, your life and your circumstances through content eyes. When you feel like everyone else’s grass is greener than yours, learn that God is asking you, right now, in your current stage of life, to water, grow, nourish and find contentment on the grass you are standing on.