Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about desires and contentment. It seems that if you tell someone you have desires for something they think you’re not content. While that very well may be true I don’t think that’s always the situation. I believe the two can go hand in hand and while it may be a tricky balance it’s possible.
Desires aren’t bad things. I don’t know what your desire is. Maybe your desire is to attend college, land a certain job, marry the love of your life, have children, start a non profit, travel the world, be fit, be healthy, be smarter, own pretty clothing, be a small business owner, find a cure for a disease, or become president. I don’t know what your desire is but many (certainly not all though) desires are healthy ones and come from a healthy place. We were created to have interests and wants. It’s only when you have an over desire for something (i.e. it consumes you) that it becomes a problem. If your desire is making you unhappy, impatient, irritable, or angry because you’re not getting it then you probably have an over desire. Yet if not, your longing doesn’t have to be sinful.
Sure desires for all these healthy and good things can’t satisfy us. But the longing can point us to something more, something that is actually the most amazing thing. Only Jesus can satisfy us. I love this quote by C.S. Lewis in his book Till We Have faces. He says, “It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.” Our longing reminds us that the best is yet to come. Our longing says we were created for a better world. Our longing reminds us that there is sin but one day it will all be gone. Our longing reminds us that ultimately we need Jesus. There is no need for you to deny to yourself or others the things that you really hope for and desire.
You can simultaneously hope for something in the future while also being content. I think thankfulness is key here. I think appreciating the beauty and gifts of now cause contentment in your life. Looking ahead is a beautiful thing. Gratefulness for the gifts right now is equally important. Have both, and enjoy where you are now and look forward to where you hope to be one day.