I just spent a week celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary in New York City. I spent years, YEARS, dreaming about taking this trip. Like since I was a teenager and first heard Liza Minnelli sing “New York, New York”. Oh, I could not wait to “start spreadin’ the news” and “wake up in the city that doesn’t sleep”.
I anticipated walking in Central Park, seeing my first Broadway show, eating a hotdog from a street food vendor, and seeing the Statue of Liberty with my very own eyes. I’d been praying for the weather for over 4 months and it was precisely perfect. All in all, it was a dream trip.
But this post isn’t about my trip to NYC. It’s really about what I learned while visiting.
You know how when you go on vacation, you often don’t look forward to it’s end? Because that means you go back to household chores, the ministry position you hold and just regular life. And if you don’t enjoy your life, that would be a bad thing. But if you love your life, you don’t mind going home to the things that occupy your time the rest of the year.
While I loved my time in NYC, I looked forward to returning home to my sons, my church, my friends and my life in Oklahoma City. And I think that is because I know that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. There was nothing in NYC that made me say, “I wish that was my life.” Instead I found myself saying, “I love my life.”
My question for you today is this: Do you love your life?
I know you may be in a hard season right now. Maybe you are struggling in some relationships. Maybe you are in a waiting pattern for your next move. Maybe you are raising toddlers and you are ready for them to grow up and become more independent. I get those things. They are tedious and tiresome but they are also grooming you to continue along the path God has for you.
Paul said he “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12). I don’t know to what Paul was referring as his “secret” but I know what it is for me.
Gratitude is my secret.
When I choose to live a grateful life vs. an entitled life, I am filled with so much joy, peace and contentment that I rarely throw myself a pity party. When I choose to start the day thanking God instead of grumbling over what I don’t have, my outlook is bright. As bright as a sunny day in Central Park.
What I would love to encourage you with today is to learn the secret. For yourself. Figure out what it is that will help you walk in contentment. Every single day.
We lead people every day in our churches and ministries. We especially lead the little people God has entrusted to us to raise. Let’s make sure we are leading from a heart that walks in contentment. When we do, those who follow us will follow suit.
Spend some time praying and ask God to reveal to you the secret to contentment. If you already know it, please share with us!