I read Bish's thankful post about supervisions on the beach, and it got me thinking about contentment. You see, my first reaction was gladness that Dave and Kenny could have supervisions on the beach. My secondary reaction was, 'I wish I could be beside the sea!' Landlocked Birmingham. Big smelly city Birmingham. No mountains, no sea Birmingham.
But yesterday, even this morning, I was very happy in Birmingham. It was beautiful weather, I've been cycling everywhere (OK; I get the train to Wolverhampton), meeting students for frescatos and enjoying the gospel together, and even if I get tired and headachey in the heat, cycling gives a lovely breeze and I'd taken the evening off. I do miss the sea and the hills, but I was content and thankful to God.
I'd even noted, as I walked down to the corner shop on Wednesday morning, how much nicer Birmingham is on a hot day than Brussels, and expressed gratitude in my heart to God! You may be in a city in Birmingham, but the front gardens on my street are nice, trees line the street, and as I headed down the hill I noticed how fresh and clean the air was. In Brussels, being a compact city, I would walk between tall apartment blocks with no greenery, along the flat, with no sight of anything but the next street, and breathing in a permanent smoggy haze in hot weather. I was thankful to God for his kindness to me in placing me even in Birmingham.
But then I was wishing I could be by the sea, very close to coveting the coast that is my neighbour's.
What had changed?
Nothing had changed. Nothing had changed in my situation. God is still over abundantly, exorbitantly and lavishly kind to me in his grace toward me in his precious Son, and even in his present, passing gifts to me, of where I live, and the job I do, and so much more. Even if something in my situation had changed, it wouldn't change that fact.
So while I may plead with my sister in Inverness to spare me a little mountain (not even a Munroe - just a little one would do), or see whether the Welsh team could send us a bit of coastline (not nice beach - just waves crashing in on rocks would do), I'll not let my evil heart use God's gifts to others as an excuse for discontent.
Apart from anything else, I recalled the one time as a student when on a gorgeous sunny day I met my CU staffworker down by the lake on campus (who needs a beach?). I got horrendously sunburned.
God is so immensely kind toward us. Go and celebrate it with Bish :)