In a way, it’s difficult not to be eying the next thing. Always watching and noticing what comes out next and always being disappointed at your own budget/limitations. Yes, limitations, primarily as we see them. As if an unlimited number, we pretend, would be fulfilling, solving all of life’s many problems.
I am not sure in this “advanced” American culture if a person can adequately experience contentment without a radical life shift complete with, basically, an entire removal from United States consumerism. At its core, materialism is an identity issue. We don’t have what we want, so we kill and covet (James 4:2). An identity issue that we’ve all, in this “prosperous” nation, learned at a young age.
For, what is the American dream, instilled, besides the subtle euphemism for individual wealth? Yes, isn’t your dream wealth? And, if not, won’t you be just a sad unhappy sack? Ingrained from baby toys, what’s mine is mine and we know very quickly, or at least we suppose, there’s not enough for everyone.
With scarcity as our guide, contentment becomes but a momentary feeling after each consecutive purchase. Life, in the market. Always in the market for the next. Life, a series of acquisitions. Every moment, pursuing the next upgrade. The “digital divide” further outmoding out tech, promoting the anxiety of being left behind by this “fast paced” world once and for all. Be first, or be obscure.
Without contentment, no gain. The help. The truth: we came with nothing. So, to leave successfully, take nothing. Nothing, but yourself remade in Christ’s image. Because that is something. In fact, more than everything.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7 KJV