Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1 (NKJV)
I read this this morning, and it caused me to pause. There are words in our lives that create immediate struggles. Words like: “contentment” cause the question, “Am I content?” The word “Why,” well, “why” can evoke a series of following questions, and they are related to the circumstances that evoked the word. But in this instance, it is personal. “Why am I doing, …?” “Why do I want, …?” Really those questions all lead to another root question: “What is my purpose, my drive, my goal?” This verse really speaks to that question for me. Do I want the simple with the quiet, or am I pursuing the grand knowing that it brings trouble with it?
Life can be simple as long as we don’t look too far down the path. If we keep our eyes on our feet, all we worry about is the rock, curb, or possible the tree in our path. If all we worry about is for today, then we only need enough for the basics of the moment. But, if we lift our heads and start looking further down the path we have to start asking; “did we bring enough water, will we need snacks, are there obstacles or fears on this path we have not planned for?
The same is true about our financial today and tomorrow. If we only worry about gas in the car for the week, money in the pocket for lunch, or maybe as far ahead as next month’s rent/mortgage payment, then life is can seem simple. But the minute we start trying to plan for or consider tomorrow, and it is responsible to consider tomorrow, we start facing issues about that “Why” – and we need to address it. Not thinking beyond next month’s mortgage sets us up for financial woes, because there are always going to be financial surprises. Our planning should be focused on that purpose though, and a well thought out purpose; “When I come to retirement, what will I occupy my time with?” “How will I have purpose, and what benefit can I bring to those around me with my time and experience?” “If I find that I have personal success in my life situation, how can I give back or participate more fully in the community around me?”
Both contentment and planning, or purpose, are wrapped up in that verse. One can be content with the moment, but one can be more content with a plan that grants purpose and direction to life – even a simple one. Have you thought about your “Why?” Have you planned beyond your immediate, lifting your head to look down the path? Let me know if I can help, wherever you are on the path.