Thomas Watson was a seventeenth century Puritan preacher in England. He wrote a brilliant book called The Art of Divine Contentment where he stated, “You would think it were excellent if I could prescribe a remedy or antidote against poverty. Behold, here is that which is more excellent, for a man to be poor—and yet have enough!”
Could a poor man be more satisfied with his life than a rich man? Absolutely! That is what makes contentment so good and discontentment so bad. The following story sums it up the best:
An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
In a letter to the young pastor Timothy, the Apostle Paul, inspired by God, wrote:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Daniel Colston has a book on contentment coming out May 13. You can pre-order it now for only $0.99 http://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Life-Now-Contentment-ebook/dp/B01BPM7GO4?ie=UTF8&keywords=daniel%20colston&qid=1461343342&ref_=sr_1_4&sr=8-4
Daniel Colston is a youth pastor in Roanoke, Virginia. He is married with no children yet, but he is considering getting a German Shepherd. He has written two books called Jesus Without Lines and Unstoppable: 40 Keys for Chasing Your Dreams, Achieving Your Goals, and Finding God’s Best For Your Life. He blogs at danielcolston.com.