The Great Wall of Contentment
Rat Race- A way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth and power.- Oxford
We live in a rat race called life. Everyone is rushing to go somewhere or to accomplish something. It doesn’t matter what success you achieve in life, it may feel like it’s never enough. There are areas in your life where you’ve made peace with your portion, you are living your life and you are content with where God has placed you.
For example, you have accepted the fact that your bank account might not be where you want it right now but you’re thanking God for His provision. Perhaps, you’re excited about going back to school and starting your new classes. Better yet, you’ve even come to terms with the fact that singleness is a beautiful thing and when your bae comes God will reveal it to you.
Buster: A person or thing that breaks, destroys or overpowers something. -Oxford
Brace yourself, someone is going to ask you a series of “adult” questions that will have you reevaluating your whole existence. If you have your Bachelor’s degree, they ask.. when are you getting your Master’s degree? If you’re single… When are you getting married? If you are married… When are you having children? If you’re in an apartment… when are you buying a house? They just want to know “the tea.” That’s fine and all but if you ever leave a conversation feeling like “what have I done with my whole life” based on an interaction with someone. My friend, you have met a “Contentment Buster.” Let me tell you, there is always a “Contentment Buster” waiting to shake your peace and steal your joy. I mean, you’ve prayed, you’ve fasted and you’re waiting on the Lord. Now all of a sudden, you have allowed this person to dismantle your “Great wall of Contentment” brick by brick.
Contentment: A state of happiness and satisfaction [in one’s situation]. -Oxford
Perspective: This Fictitious American dream notion that suggests that everyone should have their dream job, have a house with a white picket fence, be married, and have 2.5 children all by the age of 25 is not everyone’s reality. Maybe it has worked for some and that’s beautiful. However, for those of you who are still trying to figure it out. Your life is not in shambles because you have not achieved what society says success should look like. God’s timing is perfect. Even if you are tired of waiting, say it by faith until you believe it. It is better to receive His blessings when you’re ready then receive it prematurely and ruin it. Trust the process.
How to Spot a Contentment Buster
- Impose their expectations on others
- They give back-handed compliments
- Use their life as the standard for perfection
Ladies and Gents, it’s not okay to make people subject to your time table. I know you may want to cupid shuffle at your friend’s wedding but you have to chill. She just met the guy 3 weeks ago, stop it!! God will reveal if He’s the one or not. Be encouraging, pray for her and be an accountability partner. Your pressure is not necessary. Your friend who is married is celebrating her 3 year wedding anniversary and you may want to rock her future baby to sleep but continuing to ask ” when are you going to give that man a baby” is not okay. Shouting, “you’re not getting any younger” is not wise. You have no idea if the couple is having fertility issues. Trust me, when a relationship is worth sharing your girl will fill you in. When they hear the “pitter patter of little feet” you will get the pregnancy announcement. Celebrate with your friend where they are right now. We are a society obsessed with “What’s next?” that it’s hard to enjoy RIGHT NOW! Don’t miss this season of your life focusing on what’s next. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). When you read Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 there is a great depiction of time and seasons. Whatever is meant to happen will be. Do not allow others to impose their unrealistic expectations on your life.
This race to adulthood was all a setup. What were some of us racing to do? Pay bills? Work until retirement? Don’t get me wrong, there were some perks. We celebrated the milestones as we got older. The big ones were, turning 16 years old, you’re able to drive. Then at 18 you’re legal and you can vote. When you turn 21 you’re legal to drink. Okay, now what? You fast forward, you should have everything you ever wanted in life! Right? Nope… not quite. That type of thinking of I “SHOULD” have… many times are unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves or that others have imposed on us. Who created this standard?
Shift Your Focus to the Will of God
What is going right in your life currently? What can you give God praise for right now. An attitude of gratitude will shift your focus. When we are appreciative of where we are currently this allows us to look at the bigger picture as opposed to nitpicking at the things that are not happening in your life. Besides, we can’t control life anyway. Here’s something to think about. Think about where you used to be, thank God for progress. I’ve been told, it’s about progress not perfection. We have to put that “American Dream” check list to the side. Don’t get me wrong, have goals, dream BIG, break stereotypes, write the vision and make it plain!! Understand that your accomplishments don’t even matter if you’re not in the will of God. We have to make sure God is in the midst of our plans. Trust the timing of your life. Sometimes you will get discouraged because you may not be able to see the fruit of your labor. Being exactly where God wants you to be isn’t always roses. You may be burdened with heavy affliction. One season can last for many years and you may feel like giving up. Don’t give up! Do not be weary in well doing, for in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we faint not (Galatians 6:9) Why do we need a reminder to not be weary? With our human nature chances are we may become weary. Sometimes it is our eyes that cause us to be discontent in our current season. We live in a visual era with social media and it has been easier to “Keep up with the Joneses” via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. However, we’re not supposed to be competing or trying to emulate someone else’s life. We have to tend to our own grass instead of focusing on whose grass “looks” greener than ours. When you see others moving along and you have not reached your promised land yet it helps to shift your focus on to the word of God. Remind yourself of the promises of God and that will help rebuild your “Great Wall of Contentment” brick by brick.
Guard your heart, eyes and ears! Yes, we all could use some more money in our bank account. We could travel more, go out more, dress a little better, read the word of God more, have more fun… the list goes on. We can dissect our lives and truly see where we should get it together. I am a strong advocate for self-awareness and evaluating different areas in our lives. However, Paul taught about being content in every season. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Paul knew what it was like to have plenty and to be in need. He attributed his abilities to remain content was through Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Accountability Partner VS. Contentment Buster :
Let’s be clear everyone that enters your life is not entering your life to bring down your “Great wall of Contentment,” it just may be someone who God has placed in your life to hold you accountable in order for you to fulfill your purpose. They are there to keep you on track. If they ask you what happened to that ministry you were going to start 6 months ago? It doesn’t mean they #triedit No! They may genuinely want you to win and want to see you walking in purpose. It could be that it may not be the right timing, or you may just be procrastinating. Fear can really stop you in your tracks. Find out what is really going on. If you prayed about it and you believe God is leading you in a new direction that may happen as well. Whichever one is the case, if you feel as though that person can be an accountability partner and they are safe to be vulnerable with, allow God to reveal that to you. You may be able to share with them some of the obstacles that are standing in your way and they could be a great encouragement to you. Pray for discernment before sharing. You will know, because the Holy Spirit will lead you in the right direction if you consult with him. I wanted to clear that up before you tell Sister Jessica “Don’t come for me” when she asks you about your life. She may be genuinely concerned about you and wants you to win! Iron sharpens iron, sometimes you need a push in the right direction. We can’t go through life alone. Hopefully you surround yourself around those that will help build up your “Great Wall of Contentment” not knock it down.
Vicky S. Joseph
Vicky is a Public Speaker, Spoken-Word Artist, Actress and Writer. With Her sparkling personality she wants to ignite moral change in individuals! ❤