More than anything else I wanted to be class favorite. During my eighth and ninth grade years I would pour over my older brother’s annual (now they are called yearbooks) gazing at the pictures of each class favorite in their beautiful formals, wide smiles and stunning hair all fixed for the evening. Full page shots. So popular. So well loved. I wanted that!! Because then….I would be happy.
My sophomore year finally arrived. I was now in high school and at the end of that year I was nominated for sophomore class favorite!! What?? Was my dream about to come true?? Was I finally going to be happy? During the Favorites Ball dance my stomach was in knots as I danced to songs by Chicago and Three Dog Night and a plether of other amazing bands with my crazy date, Bill. Pretty soon they were going to announce the winner!!
The five nominees all lined up on the stage….the announcement was about to be made….the Sophomore Class Favorite is…..Dana Henderson!! What?? What did they say?? Was I sophomore class favorite?? Was I now going to be happy?? Oh the euphoria and delight and amazement that flooded my mind and heart! I was sooo happy!!
For a little while…Before long, I was not happy. It wasn’t enough. I wanted more.
Fast forward several years and I marry this handsome, ruddy, Godly man, Ernie, and I just knew he was going to make me happy. That was his job as a Godly man, right? To meet my needs? I envisioned that we would go to church together, sit together, and minister together….BUT, since I didn’t grow up in church, I was in for a wide awakening when we went to our first church!! What? We sing a zillion verses of “Just as I Am”? What? You have to go before the sun comes up and we can’t drive together? What? You have to sit up front?? Not with me? What? You are a messy person? It doesn't bother you that the toilet paper roll isn't on the roller? I was not happy. It wasn’t enough. I wanted more.
Fast forward a few more years and I was convinced that new kitchen countertops and a tile backsplash would make me so happy! After hours of pouring over pictures and researching options; a (wanna-be granite) countertop and a (wanna-be slate) tile backsplash donned my kitchen and I loved it!! And it made me so happy…..for a while. It wasn’t enough. I wanted more.
To be honest, I could recount many situations where I had convinced myself that I’d be so happy if __________. As Believers we know that contentment only comes from God….certainly not from popularity or husbands or countertops….so why do we constantly fall in to the same trap of looking for happiness “in all of the wrong places”?
What is it that I want now? What is it you want now? What is the ‘thing’ that we just knew if we ‘had’, we'd be happy? My advice to both of us? Let it go. Cling to the Word and Christ and allow Him to bring contentment and joy. THEN….when the very thing we want comes around….it won’t make us happy….it will make us grateful!! We will pour out our hearts in gratitude to God for providing it for us and cause us to love Him even more and therefore become more and more content. Philippians 4:11 says “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
Paul had to “LEARN” how to be content! We do too!