I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:11 NIV)
I have learned to enjoy Christmas and all its trimmings. I don’t hurry to take down the tree or replace the Christmas music. The days following Christmas can be a countdown of sorts, just like Advent.
In a few days, we will welcome a new Year, and enter the next month on the calendar. More festivities, more reflections and the reality that winter will be more with us than not. My dislike of the cold days and dark nights tempt me to discontentment. A lack of holding on to the hope of Emmanuel.
Will I hold with the presence of God, no longer an infant child, but a pulsing, vibrant Spirit that dwells mysteriously within? Likened to wind and fire and wine, but invisible and illusive at times. My clamoring desires for more of this world crowds out the quiet Comforter who longs to fill me with peace, hope and joy.
The secret of contentment lies not in me doing more or getting more or finding just the right routine or cozy spot to relax, but to be still and let go more. I find myself sitting and turning my heart to listen. I listen to the howling, holy tune of winter beckoning me to try less, and rest more readily. Resting in the warm hope of God’s sheltering love will bring me the contentment once again.
I try my hand at collage to settle my restless need to navigate the Twelve Days of Christmas, and this found poem emerges. (See photo above)
to place fresh
such as these
where they can echo
is one of the things
How does contentment allude you or find you this time of year?