I once heard it said that disappointment is the fertile breeding ground of discontent - the more we hope for something that may not ever happen or takes way longer to happen than we imagined, the more discontent we become in the circumstance we are living. It is because we are so focused on the object of our hope that we lose sight of the many blessings already right here in front of us. It is possible to be too "future focused" - hoping continually for something "better" in the future - that we forget just how blessed we are right now.
The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
(Proverbs 10:22 NLT)
My pastor spoke this past weekend about the realization of goals - getting from "here" to "there". As he made his point, he reminded each of us of the dangers of getting somewhat off-course "on the way" by the things that distract us somewhere in the midst of that journey. As he put it, "You will get somewhere, it just won't be there." There are a probably more times we realize "somewhere" moments in life than we might just realize. The moment we lose sight of what it is we are seeking, experiencing a little disappointment in the slow progress we are making, the more we become distracted by the things that get us to "somewhere", but not "there".
Discontent is bred when disappointment isn't overcome - when the hope or goal isn't renewed on a frequent basis. The "hope" or "goal" is really our "direction" in life - we are headed a certain way because we hope for a certain outcome. When that direction is altered in anyway, we find the trajectory of our lives takes a totally different course, sometimes landing us in a totally different spot than we set out to achieve. Some of us tend to map out a course and never revisit the map along the way to be sure we are still on course!
Whenever I plan a driving trip, I map out my journey. I look at the online maps, or drag out one of those actually "foldable" paper types, and look at the various routes I might take to get me from here to there. In many cases, there is more than one option to get me to that destination. In some cases, there may only be one. It is important to know this before I begin, but what I don't realize is how distracted I can become by the length of the journey. There is that tiny antique place just off the highway, or the promise of some fish in that lovely creek just down that road. Before long, despite the careful planning at the start, I can be on a totally different journey simply because I act upon my discontent!
We don't always know what will come up between our "here" and "there" moments in life, but if we deal with the disappointments along the way, we stand a lot less chance of succumbing to the discontent bug that gets in our bonnet! Just sayin!