Don’t try to make happy happier

Colin Cowherd is a sage, and he works for ESPN.  I hear his show occasionally on the radio as I drive.  Very few individuals on the radio cause me to reflect as much as Colin.  Last week he was briefly discussing the concept of contentment (it was in relation to someone in sports) and he said, “Don’t try to make happy happier.”  In other words, recognize when you’ve got a good thing and don’t attempt to make a good thing better.  Or–be content!

My friends, these are good words for me to hear.  I have been so blessed.  My needs continue to be provided.  My wife loves me.  My kids still think I am a decent Dad.  I have full-time employment as well as a part-time job.  I actually like what I do for work.  I am afforded the opportunity to do that which I love–teach the Bible.  A few people are not ashamed to called me “friend.”  Shoot–even my favorite sports team has a good shot at winning the championship.  How can I complain?!

But I do complain.  I do grumble.  I do struggle with discontentment.  For some odd reason, I want more.  I want God to tweak things so that life gets a little better–a little easier.

I am not the only one with these thoughts.  Am I?

Discontentment is systemic to the human condition.  Since being expelled in the garden of Eden, we have been on a quest to make happy happier.  There is a verse in the New Testament which relates to this discussion.

“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need” (1 Thess. 4:11-12).

Here’s the rendering from The Message:

“Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.  We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.”

Why did I work about fifty-five hours this past week?  I don’t want to “sponge off my friends”!  I want to pay my bills, commanding the respect of outsiders (those watching me from a distance).  I want to live a quiet life.  According to the original language (Greek), that simply means doing what we are supposed to do in the manner we are supposed to do it.  We are to go about our business, being more concerned with our business rather than the business of others.  The verb is a present infinitive which means that this action is to be a continuous, repeated action.  I am to live a quiet life continuously–each and every day!  I am to awake each morning with a committment to fulfilling my responsibilities “so help me God.”

God has helped me, and I believe He will continue to do so as I attempt to live the quiet life.  He will also enable me to be content with all He has given to me.  He has done enough to make me happy.  I need to be grateful today and not strive to make happy happier.

Guys–if you would like to know more about Colin Cowherd and ESPN Radio, here’s the link:

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/show?showId=theherd

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