Monday, November 13, 2017

Being content? Never heard of it...

A monk was passing through the capital city of the famous king. While he was walking, he noticed a single currency coin on the road. He picked it up. He was satisfied with his simple living and he had no use of that coin. So, he planned to donate it to the one who is in need of it. He strolled around the streets throughout the day but didn’t find anyone such. Finally, he reached the rest area and spent a night there. Next morning, he wakes up in the morning for his daily activities and sees that a king is going for his invasion of another state with his war ready army. When the king saw the monk standing, he ordered his army to be stopped. He came to the monk and said, “Oh Great Monk, I am going to war to win another state so that my state can be expanded. So bless me to be victorious”. After thinking, the monk gave the single currency coin to the king! The king was confused and annoyed with this because what use would he have for a single coin while he is already one of the richest kings! He curiously asked him, “what’s the meaning of this one coin?” A Monk explained, “Oh Great King! I found this coin yesterday while strolling around the streets of your capital city. But I had no use of it. So, I had decided that I would donate it to someone needy. I strolled around till the evening in your capital, but found no one. Everyone was living a happy life. It seemed that they were satisfied with what they had. So I found no one to give this coin. But today, the king of this state, still having the desire to gain more and not satisfied with what he already has, I felt you were in need of this coin.”
Who do you relate to the most in this story? The King or the Monk? Without a doubt, I am the King but I so want to be the Monk; content with what I have and content with who I am. There was a poll done and the question was asked, “How much would it take for you to be satisfied?” The overwhelming answer, “Just a little bit more.” We can all find ourselves wanting just a little bit more. We want just a little bit more money. We want a few more wins. We want just a little bit more _____________ and then we will be satisfied. As we all know, this attitude of wanting more leads us to being discontent, unsatisfied, unsettled, and freaking exhausted. So the question is how do we become the monk and the townspeople who were happy and satisfied with what they had? Paul answers that burning question in all of us:
“For I have learned  how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:11-12
(The coaching family version may say something like… “I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is an undefeated season or winless one. One when everyone loves me and the ones when nobody does. The one where we were the underdog and shouldn’t have won but did and the one where we were the favorite and didn’t.”

What is the secret Paul Learned? The very next verse is the most quoted, tattooed, t-shirt wearing verse in all of sports: Ready?

For I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phillippians 4:13

Although this verse has been taught to us that through Christ’s strength we can win all games. I would argue that we need more of God’s strength when we don’t. We need God’s strength when we are losing because insecurities can set in and we need God’s strength when we are winning because our pride can come out. Paul knew the secret of having a lot or little; winning or losing; wanting more or being content with what we have is CHRIST and CHRIST alone! Our insecurities and pride come out when our focus is on self. Our satisfaction and contentment come out when our focus is on Jesus. We give all the glory back to God, not because He needs it but because we can’t handle it!

Wherever you and your family are right now, coming off of a tough season or preparing for a hopeful one; know we can always find joy and contentment where we are because of who God is! 

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