So I have spent a lot of time thinking about Contentment this week. I must admit, much of that time was spent being discontent. I knew once I posted about it I would get lots of chances to practice.
You asked for some practical applications for battle in the heat of the discontentment. This week I will share the first plan of attack I have come up with.
Denial. No, I don't mean act like you are not discontent. I mean deny yourself of that which you are pinning for. If you are grouchy and you suddenly realize you haven't had your coffee yet, deny yourself the coffee. If there is a mess of books and you start trying to figure out how to skimp on your groceries for the perfect shelf system, don't buy it. Why would I do that? Why wouldn't I just have my coffee or buy my book self? Wouldn't that solve everything?! Sure, if you give yourself the thing that is causing your irritation, your discontentment would be gone.
For the moment.
But you haven't taught your heart to be quiet. You have only given the screaming child in the checkout line of the grocery store the candy bar he's throwing the fit for. He will now throw a fit every time he is in the line.
If a wise man cannot bring his condition to his mind, he will honestly endeavor to bring his mind to his condition. But the ambitious (fool) will not do this. He will be content with nothing gained because each elevation widens his horizon and gives him a view of something else that he greatly longs for, so he is tossed from vanity to vanity, a stranger to solid peace. Art thou ambitious (a fool)? Then thou art thine own tormentor.
~William S. Plumer (1802-1880)