I have a confession to make. When the clock struck midnight, I didn’t get the “Ra! Ra! 2013!” feeling that I think a lot of people did. Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely glad to be with the ones I love, and a new fresh start is always welcomed. But as I looked back on 2012, I accomplished a lot and was very proud of my results. I have the job I always wanted, arguably the best family, a sweetheart of a boyfriend, fantastic friends, great health, in a good place financially, the time and means to do fun things, and a roof over my head. But there was also a guilty feeling that also accompanied the feeling of success. How could I start the new year without a list of things to complete? Did this mean I have no drive? Have I lost my motivation? Am I lazy…………………..?????
Then it hit me. There is a difference between being CONTENT and with being COMPLACENT.
I once heard happiness described as a three-legged stool; There is satisfaction of accomplishment about the past, there is optimism about the future and then there is happiness in the present. Is it just me, or is it hard to be content with the present? It seems like there is a nagging voice always telling me to achieve more, give more, love more, accomplish more! With the rat race of life it’s difficult to take a deep breath-in and just appreciate where you’re at. It’s OK to take time to relish in what you’ve achieved, to pat yourself on the back for hard work…take a breather once in a while. To me, being content means being able to accept the reality of your situation. When you’re content you work on things you can change, and accept the things you can’t. Complacency occurs when you accept a “good enough” or “that’ll do” attitude and when you become satisfied with the status quo. To me this is a dangerous place to be in because you lack the drive to do more.
I guess the difference is this: we should be content with the things, relationships and circumstances we have and, at the same time, refrain from being complacent about what’s to come. For now, I am thankful that I’m at a peaceful place, and also hopeful and excited for whatever life might bring next.
We must ask God to help us strike a balance, so we can say like Paul, “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
(Philippians 4:11b-13 ).