I think a massively huge portion of our twenty-something years is marked with discontentment.
This may or may not include plaguing thoughts of “What am I supposed to do with my life? Shouldn’t I know this by now? People started asking me what I wanted to be by the time I was, like, nine…” or “I know what I want in life, but it hasn’t happened yet, what the heck.”
Maybe it’s the instant gratification culture. Maybe the problem’s us. Probably both.
But I know that when I say most of my days are spent grappling with contentment, I know I’m not alone.
So what can you do about it?
Ask yourself: What do you want to make of your life?
I know I want to make something beautiful.
I mentioned in another article that gratitude and living in the present moment are huge keys to finding joy — this goes for contentment, too.
I’d like to add another item to the list of things that bring contentment: doing something that calls you outside yourself.
Doing something beautiful…as in, something that turns me outside myself and points to others.
So all of us binge-watching Netflix six out of the seven nights a week (okay, it’s sometimes all seven…), spending an embarrassingly large amount of time on social media checking to see who likes our stuff, or retweets our attempts to be funny — yeah, I don’t think I need to point out that this isn’t helping our struggle.
Here’s a challenge to myself, and to you.
Make your life a song. An act of worship to the One who created you, using your gifts, your talents, your vocation, your daily duties.
It’s really simple. My life can be an act of worship, a masterpiece, simply by intentionally seeking the Heart of my Maker in everything I do: whether that’s cleaning the house, meetings at work, volunteering on a weekend, using my current single vocation to pursue deep relationships with others, using my artistic gifts to point others to Beauty.
It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t mean flying to Africa for a week for a helicopter missionary experience (drop in, drop out).
It just means living your daily life with new intentionality. Doing little things for a deeper purpose. Why do you do what you do? Are you doing it for yourself?
All of my daily life, if I do it in pursuit of His Heart, seeking to find Him in all things — then my life becomes a song of worship.
My favorite quote of all time is, “Beauty will save the world.”
But it’s so true. If we are all pursuing Beauty, pursuing God in every area of our life, making Him the top priority, and doing things for the purpose of loving Him and others, it will overflow for others to see, and we will find contentment in today. Our joy, our hope in the midst of difficulties, cannot be hidden.
So go out and let your heart be moved by the extraordinariness of your ordinary life. Look with wonder on the goodness about you.
In the midst of that ordinariness, soak in little things: chirping birds, sparkling stars. Smiles from friends. Read and watch things that shape you and inspire you, and share them with others.
Get out of yourself. Create something and don’t be afraid to show the world that piece of your soul. Serve others in little ways, in whatever ways. Be creative. Whatever you do, do it for someone other than yourself.
Do something with your young adulthood you’d be proud of and make your life a masterpiece.
We probably won’t even notice how contentment crept into the dark spaces in our hearts, because we’ll be too busy smiling.