Satisfaction. The dog was looking up at me with those big brown eyes. Then she glanced over at the take out container I had in my hand and gave me that look, the look that says, “I would like some of that!”
“Okay, Hope,” I said, kneeling down to give her one of the leftover pancakes. I justified the treat by telling myself it was a whole wheat pancake, after all, and she just loves anything that comes out of a Styrofoam container. As I was breaking up one pancake another one fell out, but I quickly grabbed it knowing that one more for our little dog would be one too many.
I set the container with the cut up pancake in front of her, but she just looked at me intently as I held the other pancake.
“Hope,” I said sternly, “be satisfied with what is right in front of you!” What is the matter with that dog? I muttered to myself as I threw the remaining pancake in the trash. No sooner had I heard the smack sound of the pancake hitting the plastic liner did I also hear a small voice in my head say, “Oh, like you don’t do that!”
As I took my plate of eggs, which was glaringly absent of carbs, and sat down to eat, I realized that too often I am just like my dog. In front of me was a perfectly nutritious plate of food. It was seasoned with spices and salsa and topped with guacamole. But I still looked longingly at the toaster, the bread and muffins sitting in the bread basket. What I wouldn’t give for a carb right now! Thinking a thought that has entered my mind many times since realizing that I would have to change the way I eat if I ever wanted to have the energy and body I desired. It’s a challenge, sometimes, to be satisfied with what is right in front of me.
I wish I could say the challenge was isolated to food, but sadly, that is not the case.
“Yes, Lord, I am grateful that my piece was published in Chicken Soup, but wouldn’t it be great if I could just get a book published.”
“Yes, Lord, I know I get to speak at women’s luncheons, but wouldn’t it be great if I could just get listed in the speaker directory, then I might have better opportunities to speak.”
“Yes, Lord, I know I have all my teeth and they work just fine, but wouldn’t it be amazing if I could have teeth as perfect and white as her.”
“Yes, Lord, I know you have prepared a place for me in heaven, and I know heaven is a glorious place, but wouldn’t it be great if this could be heaven now.”
Satisfaction – sometimes I can’t seem to get none. Another word for satisfaction is contentment and the apostle Paul sheds some keen insight into this nebulous state of being. He said, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Phil 4:11
Learned – Paul learned to be content. Learn is a verb, it is an action word; therefore, this means it will require some effort on my part. Maybe that means making a conscious effort to, first of all, see all that I have already right in front of me. And second, keeping my focus on that and not what someone else has. Third, I might try being grateful for the blessings I already have in my life. And finally, I could try to keep a heavenly perspective, remembering that this life is temporary and broken but God has something better planned. Yes, I must learn to be content in every circumstance, and regardless of what they say, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
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. Phillipians 4:12