I know the purpose of life is not to be happy. In fact, the question “does that make you happy?” really irks me because the answer doesn’t matter. The New Testament clearly tells us Christians won’t be happy. We’ll be persecuted and knocked down and put in prison and that’s how it’s supposed to be. But in the midst, I’ve always comforted myself—not that I’ve ever been in the midst of prison or a beating, but metaphorically speaking—in the thought that contentment could be attained no matter your circumstances. Contentment is what we strive for instead of happiness.
As with most of my brilliant life theories, I’ve recently begun to wonder if that’s wrong, if contentment is also not to be striven for. I began second-guessing myself when speaking with a woman several years older than I am. She confessed to struggling with contentment throughout her twenties. I told her I also struggle with that and asked what helped her feel content during that decade.
Her answer? Basically, nothing. Because, she explained, this is not our home. So we will always long for something more. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It only proves that contentment does exist; we just won’t find it while we dwell in our fallen world.
Well crap. Discovering that what you’re working toward doesn’t actually exist is a little disheartening. I’m now left staring down what was my path to contentment and wondering if anything is at the end of it. Should I change directions altogether or continue to pursue the unattainable?