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.
[ Philippians 4:12 ]
I wonder wow many people can truly say that.
For me, it comes down to a simple decision. I am either content with the life circumstances I find myself in or I worry, complain and fear what tomorrow holds. And the latter doesn't help me or change anything.
So when the cupboards are left with a couple of cans of tuna and some pasta, I will be thankful for food to eat. I learned that lesson when I lived in Brazil. No, not because I didn't have food in my cupboards, but because of the Brazilians who would welcome me into their homes and gladly serve me a plate of rice - the only food they had - without embarrassment or shame. Just the opposite - they were honored that I, an American, had come to their home. And they were happy to let me be served first as their guest.
Tonight I met a man in my city that would be considered poor. Not by Brazilian standards mind you, but almost as poor as you'd find in Canada. He has no wealth and is living in an apartment that is funded by social services. We chatted about coffee shops and the new downtown renovations. He told me his age and that he moved here in 1991, the same year I landed in Canada.
Although I have seen this man around town many times I have never talked with him. And in the 5 or 10 minutes that we chatted it was obvious that he was enjoying some conversation. That's when he invited me to join him for supper - every Monday and Thursday at 4:30PM - at one of the local "soup kitchens".
Perhaps he was a perceiver and knew about the tuna and pasta.
I told him that I would come one day - on a Monday or Thursday. Maybe I could learn more about being content.
Oh yeah. How could I forget.
The secret to being content will probably help too.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
[ Philippians 4:13 ]
Even if that means eating tuna and pasta.