Let's think about birds for a minute. A bird that is caged may yearn for freedomâ€”longing to be free to fly in the vast, immense sky. A bird outside the cage may admire the comfort of the bird inside the cage. This little bird may dream of the end of his nomadic lifestyle for the leisure of a cage cared for by an owner. Only a wise bird is content with reality, for it knows how to adjust to changing circumstances and see the light in life.
Seeing the light in life reveals to us that we may fall short of the best but still be better than the worst. Greed is often the root of grief. A millionaire with great power and prestige may not necessarily enjoy true happiness. Contentment is the way to blessedness. If we know the secret to inner peaceâ€”even if we are hungry, cold, and desertedâ€”we can still remain optimistic.
There was once an artist who traveled to many places with one dream: to find the most beautiful theme for his art. In the midst of his long journey, he became acquainted with three different people, each with a different answer to his quest. A preacher said faith was the most beautiful; a soldier said peace was the most beautiful; while a girl said love was the most beautiful. The artist was puzzled. Which was the most beautiful theme?
So the artist headed home, tired and disappointed. When he finally arrived after his long absence, he discovered faith, peace and love. As a result, he painted his most beautiful work of art: "Home."
All of us like to go afar to seek for happiness. Sometimes, we donâ€™t realize that happiness is right next to us. We donâ€™t have to give up what is close to us for what is far away.
Being content is neither an escape from reality, nor is it a passive attitude of giving up the pursuit of advancement. Contentment is actively enduring the adverse circumstances God has allowed to come upon us, even to the point of being thankful. Once we have learned this difficult but necessary lesson of life, we can approach the state of contentmentâ€”seemingly poor, yet rich; humble, yet noble.