pastoral/spiritual care

Contentment: Is That Really Possible?

Can a 25-year-old find contentment even as one completes one-third of the average life expectancy?  After all, the average life expectancy, if one is lucky enough to reach it, is about 78 for women and 76 for men in the USA.  I remember turning 25 and reflecting in disbelief that I had reached the one-third mark in my life.  Really?  How did that happen?  Is that true?  Well, yes, if you go by averages and numbers. 

The Apostle Paul shared with his younger colleague Timothy that, “Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).”  Basically that means one must make his or her spirituality and religious life a key and central part of one’s beliefs, values, and knowledge base.  It’s a core essential for life when one is trying to be contented and peaceful on a Tuesday morning on the new fall day of the year 2013.  It seems to me, experientially speaking, that all roads lead back to one’s spiritual life as one seeks contentment.  A life-giving spirituality is the core and center of contentment.  It’s the center of the wheel of life to which all things connect.  

Finding contentment is priceless.  I have tasted it, known it in my heart and soul and believe there is almost nothing of greater value in the world.  That’s a mouthful, especially when admiring the new 2013 Jaguar automobile, or a new center console 26-foot Scout boat with a Yamaha 250 on the back ready to make some waves fishing in the Charleston harbor jetties.  Even better yet, having the money to go to a college football game and to have enough pocket change to tailgate, buy a program and a soft pretzel.  That’s a luxury nowadays.  Knowing the peace of God that passes all understanding is the priceless part of life for me.  It’s something I feel in my life and my soul that makes me know and accept that I have EVERYTHING I need for spiritual contentment in my own faith in God.  When one has it there is no need to look further.  There is a sense of completeness, wholeness, and acceptance.  Can one find that at 25 years old?  I don’t know for sure and I will let you answer that. 

So, I hope this meditative thought will be a catalyst for you and me to find our center every day and to work on being content.  The key is to get back to that point where spiritual needs and hungers are satisfied and met.  When spiritual hungers are satisfied one is able to take the world and life’s challenges in stride.   At the hospital where I work there is a common answer to the familiar question, “How are you?”  Many at the hospital will use the phrase, “Can’t complain.”  I interpret that to mean one has found peace, contentment and acceptance of one’s lot in life and there is nothing to complain about at that time.  It’s one way to say, “I have found contentment in my spiritual journey and it’s priceless.”  Certainly troubles and challenges will come, yet contentment in one’s life lets us have the faith and courage to meet the challenges and to accept who we are and what we have become.   It is my hope that all of my patients, family and friends will find ultimate contentment.  After all, it is priceless and makes everything else so much more enjoyable. 

Dear God, help me to get back to my spiritual roots and to find that place of contentment each day if possible.  When it’s possible I will give thanks to you and when it’s hard to find, help me to be patient and rest knowing that I will get back to it one day, hopefully sooner than later.  Amen.

-- Chaplain George M. Rossi


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