My son has been asking his mother and me for money every week. He has little understanding of what it takes to contribute to our household but he certainly lacks no confidence that, whatever is needed, he can get it done in such a way that warrants a handsome compensation. The boy is convinced he needs some money. Now, all of his needs are completely met by his parents. Truth be told, Landon gets a lot of what he wants too. Yet he is certain that he stands in need of his own money – after all he is about to be a fourth grader in a few months and he cannot afford to allow time to slip on by without the manifestation of his own kingdom. He wants to do chores to earn that money but has not yet mastered the ability to consistently do the chores he is already required to do. Duty is not glamorous to any of us and my son is no exception. He assumes he can vacuum the house, and asks to be allowed to do so, in order to generate a steady source of income via his skills with the Dyson. He asked about mowing the lawn the other day so he could get ten dollars. I told him that his suggested bargain would likely also include a trip to the emergency room and that he should rethink it. He later got realistic and began to try to negotiate a fee for things like cleaning his room, helping put away the folded laundry and taking out the trash. Those are already his assigned duties for which he has never received compensation. It seems that some of the labor representatives in the neighborhood have tainted his approach to work and motivated him to renegotiate with mom and dad in order to secure fair wages. Yes, Landon wants the “big life”. I am trying to teach him that he already has the “good life”. It may be a lesson we all need a refresher course in.
“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Your Father is going to provide for you everything that you need today. You will be fed. You will be adequately sheltered. You have something to wear today. On top of that, compared to the vast majority of the global residents, you will both wake up and go to sleep in comparative luxury. If you have been graced to hear and believe the Gospel then I would add the reality that God has called you His child and set an everlasting love upon you which is packed with manifold promises. For you there is a glorious paradise prepared and an eventual, permanent freedom from all of the things here below which hold you back, thrust you down and sometimes turn you inside-out. You actually have a good life, though it may not be a big life. Very much like my young son, we find ourselves discontent at times with the provision of our Father. Having our needs met has become a presumption for many of us and, consequently, we are not always content with just having it so. We presume to experience something bigger. We want much more and have found ourselves like Old Testament Jacob, emerging from the womb of sufficiency and grasping for the heel of primacy. Somewhere along the line you started chasing something; maybe something that God did not intend for you. In doing so you have minimized the blessing of his current provision and hungered for something more. Then the chase of it ensured and it has moved you from the realm of contentment into the world of hunger pangs, longing for something bigger.
Many people have lost a good life in the pursuit for a big life. The quest for more is a deadly passion and many ships have crashed on that rock. True contentment is possible when we look at who God is, understand what He has promised and cultivate a continually thankful heart for His gracious allowance of us to participate in these things. The Creator has come to you with an invitation. He paid the fare. He paved the way and pledged Himself to escort you throughout the journey. He is taking you somewhere and His delight is when His companionship is treasured by you. God is the good life. Let’s take care not to exchange Him for the big life. Paul wrote Timothy in the verses above and declared that our resting in contentment with God is something to be treasured, this alone is the great gain. Everything else is a substitute. God is our source…all else is merely a resource.
The good life or the big life? Don’t assume you are entitled to both. The good life is brought to you as a gift. The big life requires an exhausting chase. The good life is your now. The big life is always somewhere out there – somewhere… at a distance. The good life is a gift. The big life is an expense. The good life is a complete story. The big life is an unfinished manuscript. The good life is content while the big life is always churning – just like those pursuing it. Take a moment today and do an inventory and welcome God to bring you His best and to help you want nothing more, nothing less. Will the good life be…good enough for you?
Give to the ministry