Contentment is a rare state for most college students. We are constantly shifting, learning new information, making new friends and figuring ourselves out as well.
What do we know of being content when we are constantly working toward new goals, new standards we set for ourselves and new assignments given to us?
Hebrews 13:5 tells us to keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have (NIV). I am sure that many have heard this statement. It seems like it should be pretty easy to follow, yet some people are always striving for the latest high-tech gadget or the sleekest car on the market. The thing is that money isn’t the only thing keeping people from being content with what they have.
It isn’t just a physical discontent afflicting this culture. We are discontent in our hearts, souls and minds.
One of my roommates is engaged, and the other is in a new relationship. I, however, am single and sometimes lonely, not content with my current relationships status, wondering when it will finally be my turn to get all dressed up for dates and be constantly smiling for that reason.
I am discontent with the final semester of my college career. Grades, classes and homework mean less to me than they did freshman year. The end is in sight, and all I can think about is going out and doing new things, seeing new places and meeting new people.
For so long, I have been confined to rural Indiana, and I can admit that I long for other places, for exotic sights and maybe even mountains. But, I’ve recently come to learn, if I look too far to the future, I won’t be happy or content.
Because American culture is so fine-tuned to look toward the future (even in school, we make five- or even 10-year goal plans) we have lost the art of living in the moment. It may be a cliché, but it is a cliché with a lot of power behind it.
I saw a car commercial the other day, and though I can’t remember what manufacturer it was for, the actor said something about how other countries take off the month of August, how they live simply and take things one step at a time. Why don’t Americans do this instead of working more hours in a week than they spend with their families? Why don’t we spend more time talking face to face over coffee?
Why don’t college students enjoy learning from professors who love to teach? Why don’t we enjoy the moments that aren’t striving toward a goal?
As I am stepping forward into the last eight weeks of my college career, I am realizing just how much it means to be in the moment and to be content with what and who I have been given. God has blessed me so wonderfully with amazing roommates and friends, an apartment to live in, classes that I enjoy and professors who care for me, and the gift of his love that never changes, even when I have an awful day. What more could I possibly need, want, or strive for?