Being Content

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my favorite movies. I enjoy watching it at least once each year in December. Friday evening was my first viewing for this year. The perfect way to end a busy week at school and begin a much needed relaxing weekend. Snuggled up on the couch with a cozy blanket and the Christmas tree lights glowing.

                                        My favorite ornament.

The older I get, the more I understand my love for this movie. It’s about family and the importance of appreciating the little things in life. The main character, George Bailey, a would-be explorer always dreamt of leaving his small town. As we often do in life, he thought surely there must be a better, more exciting life, somewhere else.

This is an understandable occurrence, considering our common emphasis on the material. Pressure to acquire the “next best” in everything from our clothes and cars to our homes and jobs, is a constant presence in our society. A difficult idea to ignore, for certain.

Two particular scenes in the movie caught my eye this time. The first is when George is talking to his hard-working, exhausted father about his need to leave town. At the same time, he recognizes the greatness in his dad. What George doesn’t know, is that it will be his last conversation with his dad.

The second scene occurs near the end of the movie when George realizes that his life truly is a gift. He utters, “I want to live again. Please, Clarence, help me to live again.” The little things in his life suddenly moved to their deserved place of prominence.

I have several favorite moments in the movie, but these particular two are not typically the ones which stand out. As I started thinking about why these specific scenes caught my attention this time, a thought came.

I needed a reminder concerning the importance of being content.

Contentment in my job and current stage of life have been a bit of a challenge lately. Honestly, I’ve spent too much time thinking about “what’s next.” This has made me a little restless. And if I’m honest, also a little grumpy.

So, in these last days and weeks leading up to Christmas here is my goal:

Be content. Look for the positive in each day. Let people know how much they mean to me. Take time to enjoy the simple things.

Easier said than done? Possibly. But hopefully putting it in writing will help. And maybe someday I will be able to say with confidence…

“…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:12-13

Merry Christmas! Take time to watch your favorite holiday movie. If you don’t have one, give “It’s a Wonderful Life” a try!  It definitely helped me focus on what’s important in my life, and inch a little closer to being content.

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