I never used to like the word "content". To me contentment was another word for laziness or resignation, an easy way out for those who were tired or afraid of striving for something more. Contentment was the enemy of progress; it was something to be avoided at all costs.

Today I see contentment differently.

My left ear is deaf to the sound of human voices, so I can only hear conversations with my right ear. Hearing becomes difficult and distorted in rooms with a lot of background noise. Would I want to have full hearing in both ears? Of course I would. But I am content to hear with only my right ear - some people don't have any hearing at all.

I have two large scars along my sides and back from kidney surgery I had as a child. I'm used to the scars and rarely think about them, but I'm sure they aren't visually appealing. Would I prefer to have a scar-free body? Yes, but I'm content to have kidneys that work and keep me alive - a good friend's sister died in her teens waiting for a kidney transplant.

My wife and I have marriage problems. (Helpful hint: If you are married, so do you.) Still, I am content with my imperfect marriage. My wife is an incredible blessing; not many people would be willing to put up with me on a daily basis.

I am content with my imperfect children - I know many who would love to have children but aren't able.

I am content with my imperfect career - many are unemployed.

I am content with my imperfect health - many are terminally ill.

I am content with my imperfect home - many are homeless.

I am content with the many blessings that God has showered on me that I truly don't deserve. With all that I have received, do I really have a right to complain?

Ask yourself...

  • Where in my life have I not been content?
  • What have I lost that I didn't truly appreciate until it was gone?
  • What blessings am I overlooking now as I search for greener pastures?
  • How much easier would life be if I learned to be content in any situation?

...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 4:11-12

"It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed." - Kin Hubbard

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" - Steven Wright

Author's Bio: 

Humorist Will Rogers once observed, "There are three kinds of men - ones that learn by reading, a few who learn by observation, and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves."

Though he has never braved a real electric fence, Larry understands the above metaphor all too well. His life is more a series of clumsy learning experiences than a polished "how-to" manual.

Remarkably, God has called Larry to share these slices of imperfection and accumulated wisdom with readers from over thirty countries around the world - those fortunate souls who prefer to learn through reading and observation.

Larry's first book, Get the Prize, was published in 2003. He is currently writing his second book, expected to be released in 2010.

He lives in Canada with his wife and four children.

Click here to visit larryhehn.com