Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are You Content?

What does the word contentment mean to you? What does it take in life to make us content?

Benny Prasad
We had the privilege of being visited by Benny Prasad at church a couple of weeks ago. This young man is from India and travels the world preaching the gospel and sharing his unique music. (He plays a drum with bongos built in.) In fact, he has been to every country on the planet except one and hopes to be there by the end of the year. He holds the distinction as the most traveled Indian musician. He challenged us to think about contentment.

Having traversed the globe – he’s experienced many different levels of people’s definition of contentment. In the impoverished parts of India, contentment may be a simple hut and food to eat. It may be family or faith. It’s not the Western definition where contentment is much broader and hard to achieve.

Why is that? Why are those with less more content than those of us with much? Can I be content with less? Can you?

The boys and I have been studying India these past few weeks. Sonlight and Mission India partnered to bring two weekly lessons to subscribers’ inboxes. While I knew poverty existed, seeing it through the videos makes a difference for both me and the boys.

Sitting in the One Room House
In one lesson, a young man in a poor village invited the commentator to dinner. The boy’s home, where his family of seven lives, is smaller than my bedroom. They have no electricity, clean water, or bathrooms. Nobody in the village does. The matron of the household cares for the boy along with her own family. His parents died of illness when he was very small. She makes $1 per day working long hours in the sugar cane fields. Yet, they are happy. I would even say, they are content. Would they want for more, sure, but they live contented lives accepting and enjoying what they have.

Where does this peace come from? I sit and fret about my finances without acknowledging that I’ll spend more on dinner out with the family than this family will have for an entire month. It’s time to focus on what we have and not what we want to have. Focus on the blessings before us and not the desire for more.

Thank you Lord for reminding me of all you have blessed us with! Help me to discern how you would have us share our blessings and be content. Show us ways to reach out to those less fortunate instead of amassing our own fortunes. In your name, Amen.

How do you define contentment?

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