Does anybody remember this song from Fiddler on the Roof? In the song, Tevye expounds on all of the things he would do and have if he were wealthy, and then at the end of the song he asks the question of God, “Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan if I were a wealthy man?”.
I can certainly relate to Tevye. Too often I find myself wishing for and desiring more, or other, than I have. And because I do not have what I desire, I am discontent. This attitude can infect my entire life if I do not take action against it. If I let discontent have it’s way in my life, I will eventually find myself questioning God’s wisdom in what He has given me.
You see, in my discontent, I think that I deserve more or better than I have. I begin to believe that I should be more comfortable in my life. I actually begin to believe that it is mine, and I have a right to it.
Do you see the problem with my thinking here? I, me, mine! I am suffering from “I” disease. Everything revolves around me. I have forgotten that it all belongs to God.
The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12:
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
Paul has learned that the key to contentment lies with acceptance. Acceptance that God is God, and that He has a plan. It is His plan, His way. Not mine. When I learn to give up my right to myself and let God have His way, I can learn to be content where I am.
So, to answer Tevye’s question, “Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan if I were a wealthy man?” Yes, it would. Can I learn to live with that answer? I hope so.