In her latest book, "Is This It?", Rachel Jones addresses some of the nagging doubts and challenges that can be summed up in my phrase: "adult life is over-rated" or her term: "quarter life crisis". These blogs will skim through the book...
In the first chapter she tells the story of a friend who went travelling in New Zealand for a year, hoping to catch a glimpse of her favourite creature: whales in the South Sea. She returned disappointed! That was a parable of her whole experience in New Zealand where she wasn't really looking for whales but for SATISFACTION! We're all looking for it - that search is what we invest much of our precious time, money and energy into pursuing. Yet we all know that contentment remains strangely elusive and out of reach. Rachel warns that this "discontentment has an even uglier cousin called envy: wanting not just what other people have; but what we think we should have already".
What is the answer? Well Paul this is also the thing that Paul was searching for and striving to attain - and he finally found it and learned it (not just "in theory" but "in practice") in the Lord Jesus.
"I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me"(Philippians 4:11-13)
Rachel points out: “Jesus is not playing hard to get… He’s not waiting for us to pull our socks off and try a little harder. We already have Him. And Christian, He is wonderful!” That's what Paul learned:
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21)... "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatans 2:20).
She concludes: “Paul is satisfied because, live or die, he has what satisfies – He who satisfies. Paul believes he’s has hit the jackpot... Paul says it’s impossible to miss out. We’re locked into a guaranteed win-win equation: to live is Christ and to die is gain”.
That is the key that unlocks satisfaction - learning that is the secret to contentment.