It is the season of goodwill, kindness and joy, and yet contentment is not really in much evidence.
As I go about the routines of this season I am surrounded by discontent. There is discontent about missing out on a car bay, or about a package being late. There is discontent at the shop counter and discontented children (and let’s face it adults) with the constant “I want” refrain.
We live in a blessed country, a rich and prosperous country by world standards, we have so much to be grateful for, and yet we are not. And some of the things we are discontented about are small, niggling, and not really that important when we think about it.
What if we put our discontent to some good use? What if we got discontented about things that really matter?
What if we got discontented about the fact that this Christmas there are families celebrating this precious day whilst living on the streets? What if this Christmas we got discontented about those who are so deeply impacted by alcohol or drug abuse? What if this Christmas we got discontented about communities that have no access to clean water?
There is a fabulous talk from Bill Hybels about “Holy discontent”. He talks about a feeling in your spirit where you just get so discontented about something that you have to act.
Martin Luther King was discontented.
Ghandi was discontented.
Nelson Mandela was discontented.
Malala is discontented.
As we sit on the tail of 2015 and start to look into 2016, dreaming and planning, maybe you can add these questions to your reflection.
What am I discontented about? Is it really a small thing? Do I need to bring that back into perspective and instead find my holy discontent?
What if our discontent drove us to action? If enough of us get discontented about things that really matter, what would our community look like then? What would our city look like? How would our discontent impact the world?
I kind of like the idea of 2016 being a year of “holy discontent”. Will you join me for the journey?
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year,