I noticed in the Friday edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press that Los Lobos will be singing at this year’s Brew Feast (today @ 10:30PM [Who goes to a concert at 10:30PM?!). The group has been around for about forty years. Think about that. The most recent addition to the group–Steve Berlin–joined the band twenty-seven years ago! Berlin is quoted in the article written by Casey Phillips:
“Everyone is still married to their first wives. We’re not the sort of people who are constantly sampling and thinking there’s something else better out there if we just keep looking” (Current, p.21).
A word came to my mind when I read that–contentment.
The grass isn’t always greener. The Jones’ don’t always have it better.
That’s why I made sure I enjoyed the simple pleasures of a Friday night: Dayton’s cute and meaningless ramblings as the men enjoyed a meal together at Krystal (“enjoyed” is a relative term), TJ’s swimming feats in the pool, Dancing with Cascade in the living room, Watching a Star Trek episode.
We’ve all known restless people. We’ve probably all been restless people. It is easy to fall into the trap of “the next thing.” Our culture continues to persuade us that our life will be better, more satisfying, if we will only purchase the newest product or service. But you know what happens. The car’s new smell fades while the payments continue. The next boyfriend or girlfriend ends up having just as many issues as the last. The larger home is harder to clean and costs double to cool in summer and heat in winter. You’ve been there. So have I.
One of the reasons I am glad to be back in Dayton, Tennessee is the fact that people here haven’t bought into the American Dream as wholeheartedly as the folks out west have. One example stood out to me. In Las Vegas, most of the people we knew bought far more house than was needed and upsized as soon as they could. Rather than using the extra money at their disposal to alleviate the sufferings of the poor or engage in missionary efforts on a radical scale, they tied up their income in mortgages and utilities. On the flip side, many of the Christians we knew when we left this area in 1993 still live in the same homes some 18 years later. Quite a few citizens in our county live in the same house their whole lives. Perhaps contentment comes more naturally in the country. Perhaps contentment is a state of mind available regardless of the geographical location.
Think about Berlin’s words today. Are you looking for something you’re simply not going to find?
PS–If you have a moment study Paul’s comments about his search for contentment in Philippians 4:10-13. Compare his words with those of the author of Hebrews in 13:5,6.