Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Are You Unhappy Were You Are?

    Government surveyors came to Ole's farm in the fall and asked if they could do some surveying. Ole agreed, and Lena even served them a nice meal at noon time.
    The next spring, the two surveyors stopped by and told Ole, "Because you were so kind to us, we wanted to give you this bad news in person instead of by letter."
    Ole replied, "What's the bad news?"
    The surveyors stated, "Well, after our work here, we discovered your farm is not in Minnesota but is actually in Wisconsin!"
    Ole said, "That's the best news I have heard in a long time!  I just told Lena this morning that I don't think I can take another winter in Minnesota."
    That joke reminds me that many people think they would be happier if they were living somewhere else ("the grass is always greener on the other side").  They think that moving will make their lives better. They're unhappy with their friends or their family and they think a change of location will fix their problems. They feel miserable in their job or neighborhood and they want to escape. Everything would be so different if they just lived somewhere else. 
    How much better we would be if we could learn to have the contentment that the apostle Paul did, who was able to say, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." (Philippians 4:11-12).  The truth is that changing locations usually doesn't change anything, because the bigger problem is not in the world around us, but within us.
    May God fill you with his joy and peace so that you can can be content wherever you are right now!
Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at

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