Contentment is such an interesting thing. It’s really a state of mind that reveals my focus.
Today on facebook I was flooded with pictures of delicious berries and the beginnings of garden harvests. It’s summer (well, almost) back in Oregon and days are filled with picnics, beach trips, camping adventures, and spending a lot of time outside. Growing up I remember summer fondly with lots of time outside, playing with neighbors, and swimming lessons.
In Bogota is it summer by school calendar only. The interesting thing about living in Bogota is because of it’s closeness to the equator, the weather is more or less the same year-round. Because of the altitude it is more or less a spring-like climate. The weather varies from the 50s to the 70s on most days, and usually there is one hour of rain. So although months pass, the weather doesn’t really change.
Anyway- back to contentment. While I was browsing facebook, I was overcome with jealousy for garden-fresh, delicious produce. There is nothing more delightful than a strawberry straight from the plant or fresh cherries. While I was drooling over these pictures and longing for home, I forgot one key fact. There are fresh strawberries available year-round here. And fresh berries. And tomatoes, cherries, pears, peppers, watermelons and well almost any fruit or vegetable imaginable. Year-round spring means year-round harvest. My envy was in no way justified.
Once I realized my displaced envy I started to think about why it was so overwhelming. I was looking at the grass on the other side of the fence (well, more like continent) and forgetting to look at the grass beneath my feet. I was discontent about where I am because I was envious of others. My focus was out of focus.
Many times over the past few years, I have caught myself distracted. Distracted from where God has placed me. Distracted from the life he has given me. Distracted because I wonder “what if…”
I have been reading the Psalms for the past few months and over and over I find that the writer cries out to God because he too has been distracted. He got focused on the things of this earth- the trails, the heartache, and the discontentment that he hits rock bottom, then finally looks up. I have been working on memorizing Psalm 147 (ESV) because it is a reminder of where our focus should be-
1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;his understanding is beyond measure.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
God is worthy of our praise. He is worthy of our focus. No matter the physical location, the people around us, and the circumstances he places us in, we are to find our contentment in him. When we look for greener grass, we are saying to God- you are not enough. When we envy the lives of others, we are telling God others are more worthy of praise than He is.
This is just another reminder to myself that God is in control of my life. God has placed me where He wants me and I am to take joy in that. When I am feeling afraid, lonely, or missing home, I need to remember who has called me to this life I am living and who I am to sing my praises towards: the Lord almighty- for He is worthy of our praise.
Those green things are guanabana (sour sop in English)! It’s a white creamy fruit on the inside and super delicious!