Contentment without Complacency

Mary and I call our little homestead in the Blue Ridge Mountains “Thistle Dew Farm” – it’s not heaven but this’ll do for now.   Contentment without complacency is our motto. The selection from today’s reading speaks to our need to learn to be at rest where God has put us.  The truth is we won’t experience all the joys of heaven until we enter our eternal home.  Meanwhile, we are called to serve zealously but contentedly.   The words of Anna L. Waring’s 1850 hymn[1] are fitting here:

Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come
I do not fear to see;
But I ask Thee for a present mind
Intent on pleasing Thee.

So I ask Thee for daily strength,
To none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life
While keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little space,
If Thou be glorified.

There are briers besetting every path
That call for patient care;
There is a cross in every lot,
And an earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee
Is happy anywhere.

In a service which Thy will appoints
There are no bonds for me;
For my inmost heart is taught “the truth”
That makes Thy children “free.”
And a life of self renouncing love
Is a life of liberty.

Today’s reading:  1 Corinthians 7:1-9:27

My selection: Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

[1] For the full text and music go to