June 27, 2011

Striving for contentment


have ADHOLS” said the status message I read yesterday on Facebook. “ADHOLS, what is that?” you may ask, as I did. And so I read the comments under the status message. Eventually the syndrome’s acronym was spelled out... Attention Deficit Hyper Oh Look Shiny. Yep... I have that one too.

I’m rolling along, feeling pretty good about how things are going, and then I think I see something shiny and my focus immediately shifts. Not a good thing!

1 Timothy 6:6

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

I have found that when I focus on Christ and on other people my mental attitude stays buoyant. When I think about the awesomeness of our God, gratefulness wells up inside me. When I consider the blessings I and my family have been showered with, I want to shout for joy.

But when I think about the things that aren’t going as well as I wish they would, I begin the downward spiral to unhappiness and depression. When I think about how I wish things were (always, it seems, focused on how those changes would theoretically impact me), the world begins to seem to be a very heavy place.

So then, I need to maintain my focus and not get distracted by things that, as it turns out, are not so shiny after all.

“The gospel of Christ is the fountain-head of contentment. In the gospel we have access to infinite blessings. But if we don’t drink often we will always be thirsty. The moment I feel the saltwater-like thirst of discontentment, I need to plunge again into the gospel. I need to stop and stare and wonder and laugh at the goodness of God in the gospel. I need to spend time working on my gospel math, calculating the infinite distance between what I deserve and what I’ve received. To marvel that a prodigal like me could be embraced by the Universe Maker as a son. To imagine the gutter of misery I would by lying in if Christ had not rescued me. If I want to overcome discontentment, I need to spend time wallowing in the gospel.”

Stephen Altrogge, The Greener Grass Conspiracy, p. 70


  1. Excellent article, and a good reminder for me, as well. Thanks.

  2. In the quote from Stephen Altrogge's book, you probably meant: "If I want to overcome discontentment, I need to spend time wallowing in the gospel."

  3. Thanks - I have fixed my typo. I appreciate you pointing it out. I need an editor!

  4. Excellent post, dear brother!! Love you!

  5. You're welcome. I make the same mistakes. That's a truism in all written work, I think: the unconscious overlooking of our own mistakes. It always takes someone else to point them out. :-)


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