"...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation..." Philippians 4:11-12
I have been sick for the past three weeks. I have had a good day here and there, but it is just one of those illnesses that begins and then keeps morphing into something new. Today I was in Prompt Care getting a shot to counter-act my allergic reaction to the medication they put me on last week. Yeah, that is how my last three weeks have gone.
I have always struggled with Itchy Feet. I have a list as long as my arm of places I want to visit. Places two hours away, two days drive away, and on the other side of the world. I would happily go to any of them.
After sitting on my couch and laying on my bed for the last three weeks, the Itchy Feet has grown to monster proportions.
Every time I think about all the thousand and one places I would rather be, I get a little whisper is the back of my head.
It is telling me that wanting to be where I can't go is only making it worse.
"But I really don't want to be here anymore!" I whine to that voice, sometimes out loud.
But that voice is speaking truth. Wanting and wishing for what we do not have, or for where we can not go, leads to more than wanting and wishing. It can lead to discontentment. Discontentment can very quickly turn into bitterness.
I have been thinking of all the things I would like to do. Things on my lists that keep getting pushed down further because of new responsibilities, new needs that come along. Every time I have to push something I want to do down on my list because of something that I have to do, I have learned that I have a choice to make.
The first thing I can choose to do is see the things I want falling further and further down my list. I can get mad, I can whine, I can make a fuss, and I can eventually become bitter about it. The more I choose this option, the bigger my loss will feel, because it is all I am looking at.
I can choose to realize that this is simply where I am right now. This location is where God has placed me to fulfill His plan in me. If God had something for me in Ireland, I would be there. If God thought that I needed a beach break, I would be on one. If God wanted me to focus my time, energy and talents on one of my "wish list" wants, then I would be doing it. And I am sure those things are in my future. Just not my future tomorrow.
God wants us to focus on now.
On where he has us now. On the skills, talents and works that He has for us now. On the people He wants us to help now. On the lessons He is teaching us now.
One thing God is teaching me right now is that until I get what He has for me now, I can't get to the places He wants me to be next. He is patient. He will not let me skip a step. How I choose to respond to where He has me now will determine how quickly I can move on.
Is there somewhere you want to go, or something that you want to do? Is focusing on that place or thing keeping you from seeing all God has for you now? Today might be the day that you need to spend time with God asking him to re-focus your effort and energy and desire.
Learning to be content in where you are now, doing what you do now will actually help you get where you are going next- faster.