Being content with my lot vs the adage about not resting on my oars, how does one strike a balance?
The church and other faiths want you to be content with your lot but we also know that in other to stay with the pack, you have to keep at it.
To effort it is already aggression...Peace is the only gauge. Imperturbable peace.
On the other hand, the devil has work for idle hands
i try to remember the difference between relaxation and idleness.
I think we have to "make peace" with our lives, then keep at it. One doesn't necessarily negate the other, or at least that's been the case with me. I think the difference now, having made peace, is that if I touch someone's life with my writing or strike a chord with someone who comes to me for advice, I am thrilled. If I don't, I am also thrilled for having tried. I think it's when the journey becomes more important than the destination, or result, that we are truly free. I read something from Depak or some other spiritual type years ago that said if you are on the path of uncertainty, you are on the right path. I think that's true. So be content and stay with the pack but learn to expect only what comes, if that makes sense.
It was explained to me this way: "It's okay to be happy where you are at; but, you do not have to be satisfied with where you are at." I never quite understood what that actually meant. I never really ran into the attitude you are talking about in the church which I grew up in; but, I have had several bosses that would trot that idea out when it was time for promotions and raises.
My personal experience has lead me to believe that being content leads to unhappiness, or at least anxiety. I become very restless without a challenge to focus my energy on. I once made the mistake about being angry with my lot in life (teenager); but, that was just a waste of time.
We should develop a balance between work and rest. Too much work and we get exhausted and irritable. Too much rest and the things we need to do build up and we get overwhelmed. Find the middle ground that suits your lifestyle. Work at a healthy pace, but rest when you're tired. Remember, even God rested on the seventh day.
Be content with what you have now but everything you have takes maintenance to keep it clean, up to date, etc. Be content, but not lazy. My Grandfather was very content with what he had but he never took it for granted or failed to give appreciation either.
trees are content with what they are, and express gratitude or praise towards the heavens, but they know their purpose is to grow and produce fruit. To stay stagnent is to accept death. We must progress
Do God's will. You will only rest in Him. Life is not a balance between His will and yours. Life is a relationship between God and you and in a relationship you need to know the other person. Know God as far as He allows, ask Him what He wants of you and in your actions, should you have peace in side, you will know this is God's will for you. Then you will no longer worry about your achievements - all good comes from Him.
Some churches preach prosperity theology. I think some preachers do this in order to enrich themselves and their egoistic sense of accomplishment. But, if we do the right thing, sometimes we are rewarded.
However, this contradicts the path preached in your church. Humility is part of this path, but we all have to provide for ourselves and loved ones. And I don't think Jesus taught that we should be content with our lot.
So different people teach Christianity differently. Know that there are many interpretive perspectives within this religion. Nobody is 100% right.
Strike a balance and look (within yourself) to see what your needs are. We all have to look within to provide the answers in the end. Contemplation is also a part of religious practice as well.
It is a balance, and hard to keep track of. Like with most things, you need to constantly be aware of yourself and your motivations. If you're able to say that you are content with your JOURNEY through life, not the goals you've accomplished then you've found that balance. If you go through life saying, I'll be happy/content/peaceful/whatever when I make this amount of money, or I get this promotion, or I possess these things, then you're looking at it wrong. But if you can say that you are happy and content because you are working towards a goal, and that the goal itself isn't as important as the journey to it, then you're good. I think the balance is keeping the focus on the journey, so that you are content and happy with the journey rather than the goal.
Everyone was made by God and put here to achieve some purpose. If you sit back and watch the grass grow you are not seeking the reason why you were made and not achieving your intended purpose. Personally, I have always chosen, "The road less traveled by" and "have miles more to go before I sleep." Robert Frost
As far as preachers go - Find one you agree with. In the end you are responsible for what you choose to believe.
L. Ron Hubbard says to try to change what you can change and do not try to change what you cannot change. But this question begs for this prayer. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
Being content does not mean being lazy.
Being content is the first step. The next step is to apply effort according to priorities. Discontent means an inability to think clearly. Hence if discontent is a motivator, contentment will take you many steps further.
Accepting whatever is, will help us relax and face life's challenges with a calm mind. Hence we will learn our lessons faster than if we spent time resisting what is.
I have practiced this for last five years and it has worked. Circumstances have changed dramatically and I have got more than I could imagine out of life.
I continue to make and effort and not rest on my oars. I am just doing it in a more relaxed way, instead of being stressed out.
It can be difficult to strike a fine balance but one must try. Having goals and working hard is good, but remember that when you leave this world, which you will, someone else will pick up from where you left off. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.
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