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. Philipians 4:12
There is so much to learn. I am learning how to be content. This may be the lesson I continue to learn for the rest of my life. I cannot yet make the claim "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation". I would like to say that I have discovered this secret, however I cannot.
In most situations I tend to have that one thing that I wish was different. For example, I might have the weather I love and a job I enjoy but, I long for the community I have left behind that stimulated me spiritually and intellectually. In one place I have enjoyed art and music, but longed for a more internationally minded community. In another, I have had the stimulating community, but missed the beauty of nature in the place I just left or find it difficult to provide for my basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. I get a job and then wish for art and music. I get culture and long for friendship and community. Oh to learn the secret!
There might be a discontent that comes with being a 'stranger' on the earth. All of these things, community, beauty, shelter, provision, etc. might be seen and welcomed from a distance like the men and women of faith in the Bible. Sometimes I feel like I see the possibility of discovering the secret of contentment and saying "I want to stay here, in this place for a long time" and then I find myself anxious, restless and longing for something different. I hope that someday, I will find myself in a place that I would not like to leave for a long time... to seek a bit more passionately the secret of being content.