Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” — Hebrews 13:5, NRSV
There is a song I love by Foster The People called “Ask Yourself.” The chorus has a line that has always spoken to me.
“And you say that dreamers always get what they desire, but I’ve found the more I want, the less I’ve got.”
It’s always been a sobering reminder to me that “more” is not always more. When I stress about my training business or the trajectory of my life according to the “worldly” standards of success, it’s important that I ground myself in the knowledge that it’s okay to opt out of the rat race. It’s okay to be content.
This flies in the face of nearly all advice we are force-fed by those who have “made it,” as well as those who wish they could. The conventional wisdom of today is to push and push and push until we have achieved it all. To reach a place of contentment is to “settle” or “quit” if it occurs before the world can declare us successful.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews caught onto this long ago. The quote from Hebrews 13 comes from a conversation about maintaining a faithful life, and the drive for “more” is seen (rightfully) as a distraction from living for God by being at peace with ourselves and seeking the welfare of others. As Jesus says. “You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24).
Does this mean we shouldn’t have goals or that we shouldn’t strive to do our best in this life? No!
If we allow that pursuit and effort to dominate our lives to the detriment of our self-care and our compassion, we have fallen into the trap of insecurity and greed, and we need to recalibrate. If we cannot enjoy life right now in this moment, no amount of money or accomplishments will magically enable us to do differently. Life is not beautiful because of what we have or do. It’s beautiful because it “is” and because we “are.”
Only when we can be content in this sense of “being” can we live in peace, balance, and in right relationship with the Divine and each other.
So let’s make that happen.
Peace be with you!