I had the opportunity last week to drive about 8 hours roundtrip in one day. My van sort of died on our way home from visiting family. A few days later, with little explanation from the mechanic, it was revived enough for us to drive it home, a miracle of sorts. You know, the kind where the person’s heart stops beating and everyone thinks she died but then she just wakes up and is fine. That’s my van. It has 196,000 miles on it…one of these days it will die and not come back to life.
This particular day offered me one of those opportunities where I had a choice to make. I could be pissed off at God or my car or whatever that we had to drive back to the place of my van’s pseudo-death and drive it home. Or, I could choose to be content. I chose contentment. I do not say this to win accolades but to reinforce the concept that contentment is a choice despite our circumstances. I recognize fully that my circumstance was a first world problem. My husband and I had to drive together in one of our cars to get the other car. Some people have no car. I get it. But I do live in a first world and this was a problem I (and many others) face.
There’s no magic in choosing contentment. You just consciously, with intention, do it. In my case, I looked at the drive as an opportunity to listen to a bunch of speakers I admire and learn from. Before we left I downloaded a bunch of podcasts from Henry Cloud, John Townsend, Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown. They are my current favorites. I also downloaded a Story Telling podcast on the topic of addiction. The drive turned out to be intellectually exhilarating. I learned powerful lessons on that drive. Lessons I might have missed.
Every aspect of our lives is rich with meaning and purpose if we are willing to look under the surface and find it. We can! We have the amazing ability to look, to think, to question, to understand and accept. I love this about us!!! So today, how will you approach your circumstances in a way that inspires you toward contentment rather than dread?