Every night while I am cooking dinner, this happens. The dogs rush outside to play for about three minutes and then stand at the door, waiting to come back inside. Meanwhile, the two cats are keeping guard at said door, waiting to launch themselves outside, over or under the dogs. Sometimes I will get a desperate look from one set of eyes, practically begging me to let them go where they are currently not.
They make me crazy, these pets, because they play this game all day long. The cats go outside first thing each morning, while it is still dark outside, and proceed to beg to go in or out over the next 12 hours. The dogs run the length of the yard at full tilt a few times, and then want to be back in the kitchen, directly under me. Honestly, they follow me throughout the house all day; I don’t think I have entered a room alone in months.
Why do they play this game? Is it really a game to them? Discontentment is a dangerous game that many of us play all the time, myself included. It’s that nagging feeling that maybe we are missing out on something more, the fear that others are living a better life/having more fun/getting more done. And the really dangerous part is when we get exactly what we thought we wanted…it can feel so wonderful for a few minutes…and then that same doubt creeps in and we start looking around for something new that will fill the void.
I think I am better at this than I used to be, I am hoping that I am in the process of identifying and shedding the feeling of discontentment, but it comes in many colors and sizes and rationalizing is one of my greatest strengths, so maybe I am just fooling myself. The goal would be to emulate Paul and to learn the secret of being content. In all circumstances. Even when you’re stuck inside the house. Try telling that to my pets.
I am not saying this because I am in need, 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
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