There was a prosperous businessman visiting the ocean on vacation. He was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren't you out there fishing?" he asked.
"Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman.
"Why don't you catch more fish than you need?' the rich man asked.
"What would I do with them?"
"You could earn more money," came the impatient reply, "and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."
The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?"
"You could sit down and enjoy life," said the businessman.
"What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied as he looked placidly out to sea.
(Modernized and adapted from Our Daily Bread, May 18, 1994.)
Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Philippi.
“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” [Philippians 4:11b-13 (ESV)].
Contentment. We seek to find it, but we get distracted from its true source in the mad rush of life. Contentment is not found in consuming the most products. It won’t be in the next movie, an increased paycheck, the next vacation, the next visit with family, or the next product we buy. We have been bamboozled, time after time, into thinking the “next” thing will bring us more contentment, but it won’t. We should realize that by now. A contentment that cannot be experienced in the midst of the situation we currently find ourselves living in is just a false peace. True contentment can withstand the depressions, sorrows, and tragedies of life. It can withstand broken dreams and broken promises. It is immune from outside influences. It is found living in the presence of God. Living, not just dwelling. There is a big difference.
The goal of spiritual growth is to live all of our moments in Jesus. In our resting we will dwell on Him, His works, and His will. In our working, we will and look for opportunities to serve others and bring about His will. Everything we do, when we are living in Him, will be about doing His will to the best of our abilities. Then we can rest assured that the outcome of all of our actions is in His hands. We are only responsible for being faithful and doing our part. This frees us from the stress of the outcomes, which allows us to live our lives in God’s will as if we are already victor. Let Him worry about the results. He’s God; He can handle that.
May you grow in Jesus to the point where you are living in Him during your resting and your working. May you find the contentment that God designed you to experience.