Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Growing up through the common

John Singer Sergeant

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common . . ."
-Author unknown

The pull towards finding contentment in outside things is common to all. The things we own, the works we do and the status we attain are all measurements of success in our world. But real contentment comes only from within, by growing the inner man in wisdom and virtue, the qualities that God deems worthwhile. The outward qualities that people judge others by tend to be fleeting and artificial, always subject to change based upon circumstance. The inner life can be still and quiet, even in the midst of poverty and adversity, and, in fact, these qualities can be refined in those situations, bringing more clarity to our search for peace.

I know that my search for contentment will be a life-long journey, but the lessons I have learned so far have shown me that in the common, everyday aspects of the life God has given me is where my peace lies.