Fellowship at the Ranch

Contentment is an interesting word, a much sought goal and a seldom activated emotion. It is also a word which apparently has many meanings, so many in fact, that it seems almost subjective to each individual human life. One dictionary defines contentment as “a state of happiness and satisfaction.” Another says it is “the state of being satisfied or the source of satisfaction.” The “free encyclopedia” world of Wikipedia says, “Contentment is the acknowledgement and satisfaction of reaching capacity.” All this fascinates me since as I view the world today there seems to be very little contentment. Ask any 10 people about all the rain our area has had in the months of March and April this year, and you’ll get 10 different versions of how the rain altered something in their life that led to discontentment. Why is this state of being so elusive? What is it about the human race that makes contentment so difficult to achieve or acquire?

Perhaps the answer is found in the complexity of each human and their own uniqueness as an individual person among the current 7.3 billion people on the planet. While one person may be content with their economic position, they may be completely discontent in their relationship position, resulting in an emotional hole in their life, which completely overshadows the previous economic contentment. Since no human being is a one-dimensional being, the many moods, emotions and expressions of these moods and emotions when multiplied by 7.3 billion people makes the very idea of contentment indescribably complex. When my contentment is tied directly to something I do or something just one other person does or doesn’t do, this elusive state of being is relatively unachievable since neither I nor the other human being my contentment may be based in is perfect.

The human state of contentment must provide for each part of me: body, soul, mind and spirit, the ability to reach into an infinite black hole of options and pull out the singularity, which provides that state of happiness you and I both seek. Are we even capable of this?

My particular world view demands that on my own, as intelligent and well-educated as I might be or socially advanced as I have become, as economically stable as I’ve ever been in my life, as relationally rock-solid as humanly possible… on my own contentment is unachievable. It requires something outside myself and something outside every other person with which I interact. Contentment is only ever achieved when I look to the Creator of Life for a definition of what my life is supposed to be. It is only when I align my goals with His goals, my desires with His desires, do I find that my life has meaning and purpose and contentment is within my grasp. He said, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” I believe that Jesus means for us to have a contented abundant life right here, right now.

Jim Wilkins is the Pastor of Fellowship at the Ranch. We meet each Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the clubhouse.