To covet after something is not wrong in itself. To covet after the wrong thing is where the problem lies.
It appeared to be sometimes that he lacked ambition. It subsequently became something I felt I developed myself – a distinct lack of ambition. As it happened, however, my problem was not believing the truth of my sufficiency in God. My problem was seeing myself as inadequate and either wallowing in that in helplessness, or desperately getting as active as possible in a bid to prove myself.
In any case as it transpired what I accused him of in terms of lacking ambition, was way wide of the mark. It was not that he lacked ambition, it was that he had found the crucial ingredient to enjoying life. It was an ingredient he learned from Paul. That is in whatever situation he found himself in he would be content. He displayed that to such a great degree that I soon realised that thinking he lacked ambition was more reflective of what others wanted him to live up to, rather than his own knowledge of what God called him to do. The trappings of material success meant little to him. The ladders that other people climbed didn’t belong to him they only ended up in locations that were distractions from where he found contentment.
That lifestyle got me thinking about the things that really mattered in life. What it meant to be content in Christ, to find sufficiency in him for everything, so that in whatever situation I found myself in I would be content. As that became a driving influence, I recognised how easy it would be to get distracted from that pursuit and as I got distracted, so I would become more discontent, until there would be arresting moments that brought me back to the point of going back to the initial quest.
So I am very grateful for his example and his lifestyle. I am grateful that it still stands as one that points me to Christ. Even when I get distracted, that example remains. It’s definitely worth pursuing contentment in that.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden