The secret of this attitude.

An elegant question from Jay Crowell:

Dad, if you could visit one site in Rome what would this place be?

After many trips to Italy, this wasn’t an easy question for me to answer. Without a blink, I said, “The Apostle Paul’s prison cell.”

downloadThe book of Philippians has been my favorite for the better part of my adult life.

The book of Philippians inspires and encourages me more than any other book in the Bible.

For years I marveled at the possibility that one could be content counting it as joy living in a Roman prison cell.

How was it possible for the apostle Paul to write these words; Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

How is it possible for the apostle to say things like I have learned to be content with or without.

Candidly, this was not my experience. As much as I wanted to be joyful, or to be content, that was not my experience.

This brings us to today’s words of hope; contentment. What is Saint Paul’s prescription for each of us to experience the secret of this attitude?

Be warned, the prescription is so simple yet so difficult to experience.

Contentment is not doing; not working hard, not achieving. Not anymore.

Contentment works against our nature. To experience contentment is to live in the land of enough is enough.

Contentment is not giving up and not caring. To the contrary, contentment is an attitude. The two things that we can control are our attitude and effort.

Therefore we can choose contentment because it is an attitude; it is a state of mind.

This is a simple truth. What makes it difficult is that it requires a moment by moment commitment.

Fighting cancer these past eight years has been my laboratory to experience the mercy and grace of contentment. Psalm 23 has been my fortress, my strong tower, and my hope.

There is no better place to be than to be living in contentment.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. Psalm 23

This is where Fred Crowell wants to live. Where do you want to be today? Contentment’s secret is in our attitude. It is our choice.