Peter Leithart on Contentment

Given that I just posted on contentment a few days ago, I was pleased to discover Peter Leithart posting on the topic today:

Contentment is a spiritual challenge, but it is also something of a puzzle. Scripture urges us to hope, but how do hope and contentment fit together?  How is contentment compatible with work, proper ambition, planning and goals?  Am I discontented if I want my business to make more profit next year?  Are we being discontented if we pray for healing?  Am I discontented if I want to read yet another book?

In this as in everything else, God provides the model.

On the first day of the creation week, He makes light, separates light and darkness, names day and night, and then stops.  “It’s good,” He says. “I’m content.”  But the next day He’s at it again, rearranging and improving the world.       During the creation week and all through history, God’s “Good” means “Enough for today,” but the next day He always wants another good thing, and then another and another.

The test of contentment is not whether you’re willing to lay down your tools and be satisfied with the status quo forever.  The test of contentment is whether you’re willing to lay down your tools for now, ready to take them up with renewed hope and energy tomorrow.

That is to say: The test of contentment is keeping the Sabbath.  Can you come to evening and cease, enjoying the daily Sabbath of sleep?  Or do you toss through the night, anxious about the tasks of morning?  Does your feverish week spill over into the Lord’s day?  Or are you able to say at the end of a busy week, “Good; enough, enough for today”?