Thankfullness is the opposite of discontent… and today’s true story concerns a young man who has seen more “hard times” than I have… but having observed his self-destructive behaviour for several years… I think there are important spiritual lessons to be learned.
The cycle (in a nutshell) is this…. he gets a job, rents an apartment and is happy for a couple of months…. then he quits the job, loses the apartment and goes around begging for lodging wherever he can find it…. usually nobody feeds and lodges a healthy young man indefinitely so eventually “he wears out his welcome” and is put “on the street” again… in this “down and out” condition he resolves never to repeat his mistakes if he could only just find another job….. eventually he succeeds at getting another job (with help from friends, who also assist him with downpayment for another apartment)…. things are great for a short while because the apartment is close to where he works and he can walk to work (never needs bus fare) and can survive on the money he is paid because it can both feed him and pay for the apartment…. the only catch is, the job is HARD, long hours without “extra” money and as the weeks roll into month or two he gets frustrated with “miserable dead end job” and gets ready to give it all up and repeat the cycle…. yet again.
Now I dont want to trivialise his predicament…. nobody, we say, likes “slavery-type work”….. but what are his options ?
1. Better yourself through government-funded education.
2. Accept your “slavery-type” conditions and learn to live happily (or unhappily) in it.
3. Repeat the above “life cycle” until you are so “down and out and depressed” that you end it all by suicide.
Where am I going with this ?
EVERYBODY has “problems”….. from the rich master to the lowly slave….. the Bible says, “GODLINESS with CONTENTMENT is great GAIN” (1 Timothy 6:6)
I heard a Pan-African spokesman say, “The Bible was written for the slave master’s benefit… to keep the slaves in line through religion” and the same person also said “The Voodoo religion is just as valid a form of worship as Christianity”….. do I really need to analyse these statements ?… well… certainly NOT in today’s posting.
Today’s post is focussing on the very important fact that WHATEVER your current state you have a mental CHOICE:
1. THANKFULLNESS… (in the young man’s case) I am healthy and free of pain, today is a beautiful day (the birds are singing, the sun is shining, the air is fresh) and I live in BARBADOS… an idyllic paradise island, that the world’s wealthiest people visit for a two week vacation (and wish they could stay longer)…. I have an apartment and a job and even though the work is hard and the hours long…. I can still go on the boardwalk by the sea which is just outside my place of work for my lunch hour and when I leave work tired I can go home and lay down in peace and quiet on a comfortable bed…. LORD I AM BLESSED more than millions of starving children in Sudan…. eathquake and radiation victims in Japan…. and refugees of war-torn lands in ethnic cleansing….. THANK YOU LORD for my job, my apartment and all my other blessings that I have enjoyed today….. I guarantee that this approach will lead to HAPPINESS and PEACE and (perhaps) eventually an improvement in the conditions he finds so “hard and painfull”
2. DISCONTENT…. My life sucks, going nowhere fast, fed-up with all this hard work and no “extra” money in sight….. I want new clothes and a ticket to Rihanna LOUD concert…. why cant I be like Betty and Stephen, its easy for them to talk, they want for nothing and never done a stroke of “hard work” in their life… it’s not fair… life’s not fair… I want to be a CELEBRITY, I want TO BE like Rihanna…. I want a big house and a car and… and… I WANT…. WHY CANT I HAVE…. EVERYBODY GOT… I cant take this anymore…. I going to tell that so-and-so “slave driver” boss where to “get off”…. just watch me today, I going “tell off” everybody in sight… I going BLOCK BAD (this is a Barbados slang expression)….. few days later, on the street again…. nothing to eat… and “no fixed place of abode”.
SADLY….. vast numbers of young men in this country are taking the SECOND option to their own hurt and ultimate undoing.
Prayer for today:
Loving Heavenly Father, help me today to be truly thankful to you for all the blessings that you have given to me….. and guide me through your Holy Spirit thoughout the day… keep me from sinning against you…. and use me to minister to the needs of whoever you chose to bring my way. Amen
Bible Verses for you to read…
Psalm 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O MOST HIGH”
Psalm 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name.”
Ephesians 5:20 “”Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Phillipians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God”