For some, a glass-enclosed high-rise apartment would be hell on earth. Others loathe the thought of isolation and separation from modern conveniences. Some can’t wait to get away from family, others can’t imagine living without them.
|photo by Mukumbura||via PhotoRee|
But for every worst place, there’s an example of a person who found joy and peace and contentment in that location. Mother Teresa found her heart’s desire in the slums of Calcutta. David Wilkerson in the crowded urban streets of New York. Daniel Boone in the lush forests of the Great Smoky Mountains. Like the saying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s worst is another man’s best.
But there is one universal worst we all share, and if we yield to it, it follows us wherever we go and causes misery for all concerned. Where is it? You can’t map it with a pin, because it’s not a physical location at all. It’s a condition of the soul called discontentment.
Discontentment settles into the mind and feelings the way mold invades a loaf of bread. It can strike at any age. It pays no heed to wealth, position, or status. It colors the reality of the sufferer the way schizophrenia twists the perceptions of the mind. Left untreated, discontentment can be fatal – if not to physical life, then to relationships, to peace of mind, and to joie de vivre.
Discontentment, like any other ailment, has risk factors that make us more or less susceptible to its effects. What are those factors? They might surprise you.
- Being a visionary
- Having high expectations
- Being quick to obey
Those don’t SOUND like negative characteristics, do they? You’re right, they aren’t, as long as they are tempered by love, patience, wisdom and knowledge. Without those virtues, these personality traits can set us up for a nasty bout of discontentment.
Are you living in the “worst place in the whole world”? Have you fallen prey to discontentment?
- You feel perpetually disappointed.
- You’re frustrated, but can’t see your way to a solution.
- Your first response to inconvenience or discomfort is anger and blame.
- Nothing ever seems quite “right” no matter what you do, but you can’t figure out why.
- You play the “if only then” game in your head: “if only” your spouse was different, your kids were better, your family lived closer (or farther away), your boss wasn’t your boss anymore, you had a new job… “then” you could be happy.
If you answered yes to three or more of the above, it’s time to change your perspective.
- The first step is admitting you are discontented with the lot life has handed you.
- The second step is to reject the jealousy, envy, selfishness, guilt, and ambition that have prodded you, poked you, and tormented you along the way.
- The third step? Settle back and realize that you are neither as important, nor as unimportant, as you think you are.
- Finally, take the Lord’s sage advice: take one day at a time. God has a plan for you, right where you are. Right now. And His plan is for good, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.
The good thing about the worst place in the world? Moving doesn’t require any packing, any boxes, any trucks, or any moving men, and it can be accomplished in just a few moments!