A wise, old wizard once said that the happiest man on earth would be able to look into the Mirror of Erised [a mirror that shows you your dreams and desires], and see himself exactly how he is.
That quote was brought to mind this morning, when a friend of mine asked me the question, “if you could be anyone, who would you be?” I thought for a few minutes, and then answered, “myself.”
My answer surprised me. Just a few months ago I could have thought of a hundred people I would rather be than myself. But now, I can honestly say that I like being me. No, my life isn’t perfect. There are things I wish I could change, as well as things that I am in the process of changing. But I can pretty confidently say that no matter how glamorous things look on the outside, no one else’s life is perfect either. Everyone has their own set of doubts, insecurities, and issues. So why would I waste time longing to simply switch problems with someone else?
God has given me everything that I need to be content. He made me for such a time as this. I can either waste time wishing I was wearing someone else’s shoes, or I can walk as far as possible in the shoes I’ve been blessed with.
Paul wrote this to the Church in Philippi: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
Paul’s secret? “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
There it is. There’s the reason why, without even realizing it, my perspective shifted from one of envy and discontentment, to one of gratitude and fulfillment. I stopped looking for solutions in my circumstances and abilities and gifts, and started looking for it in Christ. Christ alone.
And contentment doesn’t equal complacency. In fact, it is quite the opposite! When you are truly content with who you are, you have the self-respect and motivation to reach for greatness in every area of life. Contentment wipes away jealousy, rivalry, insecurity, and hatred; freeing up space in your heart and mind to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I am who I am. Who He made me to be. To wish I was someone else is to waste the unique time and abilities He has given me. I was made by the same God who created and gave life to all of heaven and earth…I will not disrespect His handiwork.