We all know what a Table of Contents is, right? That page at the beginning of a book that outlines the parts that make up the information given in the pages ahead. It's the big, overarching themes that sum up the in-between parts that give you an idea of the whole before you have even had a chance to understand it all.
The Table of Contents of my life might look something like this:
- The wife who forgot about dinner
- The mother who hands her toddlers her iPhone
- The writer who can't remember that one word
- The student who asks too many questions
- The overwhelmed human who needs rest
- The repentant prayer warrior who is reminded of her needs
- The healed sinner who found peace again
One of those things by itself wouldn't totally describe me, but together, they can give you an honest glimpse into the life that I live - and this would only cover maybe one normal day! The content of our lives says a lot about who we are, a lot about who we think we are, and a lot about where our values and dependencies lie.
Am I content with the content of my life?
I heard something today at Bible Study that was perfectly put - today, there seems to be an "epidemic of discontent" among society. I couldn't have said it better myself. So many times, I'll hear or read or see moms (and not just moms, of course) who are either feeling guilty about the life they should be leading or feeling guilty about living they life they already are.
How can we find contentment?
The word CONTENT is what is called a homograph. It's two or more words that look alike but have different meanings:
con-tent: that which may be perceived in something
con-tent: satisfied with what one is or has
Just because something looks to hold everything we might have always have wanted, doesn't mean that it represents everything that makes us whole. Your Table of Contents might be perceived as everything that should make you content...but, instead, it could have a very different meaning.
In other words, whenever I lack contentment in my life, it's time to examine the content.
Where is Jesus in the midst of my toddler throwing noodles at me in the middle of lunch? Where is Jesus when I want to cry into my pile of laundry? Where is Jesus when I feel guilty about wanting to get out of the house by myself? Where is Jesus when I'm taking my blessings for granted?
Jesus is the content for my contentment.
I have no hope to get it all right. I have no hope for feeling like enough, especially when my focus is on myself. But, pursuing Jesus and injecting Him into the CONTENT of my life will bridge the gap of my seeking and finding the contentment I'm in need of.
Contentment doesn't look like sitting still. It doesn't look like a pond with no ripples. In fact, the closer I get to Jesus and asking Him to reveal to me how I can inject more of HIM into my day, the more motivated I become to not seek anything else. The more motivated I am to inspire others to do the same. The more motivated I become to fulfill who I'm called to be for Him. And, the more the content of my life resembles a content human resting in the assurance that I am trusting a God who knows what's better for me than I do.
If I'm going to let God be the author of my life, I'd better be willing to let Him start with the Table of Contents.