It is quite common for people to be dissatisfied where they are. Most of us want more out of life than what’s presently being offered. Advertising companies are banking on this fact, hoping to sell you a bunch of stuff, so you will attempt to fill an insatiable void. One of the greatest challenges in life, especially in this western culture, is overcoming dissatisfaction. Many of us guise dissatisfaction with misguided ambition, thinking that we will find peace and joy in a bigger house, finer car, higher paying job, or broader platform. None of those things will bring us the one thing that will shake that feeling: contentment.
Contentment, or the state of being pleased and not needing more, is only faithfully found as a byproduct of purpose. When you do what you have been designed to do, there is no greater fulfillment. Don’t allow the purposes of others distract you from doing your part in making this world a better place. For example, the screwdriver will find his purpose in tightening and loosening screws. There is no need of the screwdriver becoming frustrated, because he can’t drive nails like the hammer. He is designed to drive screws. Many of us may look around our world, and wish for other so-called better things but perhaps we could find more pleasure in discovering our purpose.
To this end, I recall a story of the late Dr. Frederick Samson, the very influential pastor of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church (Detroit, Michigan), walking down the streets of Washington DC. DC being completely urbanized, Dr. Samson came across something quite curious: a rose growing in an alley. The sight of it was amazing to him. Here it is, a single beautiful blossom surrounded by the stench of trash and urban life. Dr. Samson was so captured by the moment, he asked the rose, “What are you doing here? You’re in an alley, a place where beauty is uncommon. What in the world, are you doing here?”
The rose responded, “Well sir, I had no choice in where I was planted. But when I discovered who I was, I was already in the alley. But I didn’t want to allow my circumstance to determine my course, so I just simply decided to rise where I was.”
Dr. Samson said, “But this is such a stinking place. Why would you rise here?”
The rose responded, “Yes, I found myself surrounded by all sorts of putrid odors, but I just simply decided not to participate in the stench. Instead I resolved to release my aroma and create a fragrance of beauty where I am.”
Dr. Samson, blown away, asked the rose, “But wouldn’t you rather be in a garden somewhere, decorating a lush landscape?”
The rose, lifting up toward the sunlight, answered, “Of course I would. I’m honestly waiting and hoping for a transplant, but until then, I am just fine blooming right where I am. Because I get the privilege of bringing hope and beauty, to this dark alley.”
“I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.” – (Philippians 4:12b-13, The Living Bible)
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