The other day I officiated a wedding on the top of a mountain. I had to hike two miles to meet the bride and groom. That might not sound like a long way, but you gain about twelve hundred feet in elevation by the time you reach the top. And in case you were wondering, that’s like climbing a hundred floors.
I’ve officiated my fair share of weddings over the years, and this was a first for me and probably one of the most special. There was no limo or horse-drawn carriage, no big wedding party, or a large gathering of guests. They didn’t have a big banquet of food. They didn’t even have a dance party and cake! Instead, it was just the bride, groom, the photographer, and me.
After the wedding, my wife and I joined them for a Thai food dinner to celebrate their new marriage. It was a great day. Now, you might think that they maybe couldn’t afford a big fancy wedding. If so, you’d be mistaken. The truth is they just didn’t want one. They were content with the simple and the most important.
It was such a powerful lesson to me, and I think to all of us about contentment. Too often, we feel the need to try and make things more meaningful by throwing more money at it. But in the end, when we do that, does it really bring more meaning or just more debt?
The Bible says, “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
To be content means to be satisfied or happy. Too often, we miss those two magical life-giving words because we’re so focused on what we don’t have we miss out on the joys of what we do have. As a result, we’re unsatisfied and unhappy. Don’t let that be you.
Now, I’m not saying that you did it wrong and you’re not content if you had a big fancy wedding. What I’m saying is that true contentment comes from being okay with where God has you right now and with what he’s given you.
We should all adopt the life attitude of the apostle Paul. He said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:12, 13)
Paul’s secret ingredient to a life of contentment was living life with Christ as his strength, not his stuff. It’s the secret ingredient we all need in life.
Whether you’re married or not, you’re going to have times when you have a lot and times when you have a little. But if you have Christ at the center, you have all you need. Learn to be content with that.