The Secret of Contentment

Detaches from the world

I remember when I was a bilingual instructional assistant at a local high school, a history teacher was teaching that one of core Buddhist teachings was to detach oneself from the world and reach to the state of nothingness.

Now days I hear the word, “meditation” very often not only in a yoga or tai-chi class but even among Christians. For yoga, or tai-chi my understanding of the meditation is to stop all thoughts and think nothing.

Indeed, if things don’t go my way, I may get stress, frustration, anger, or even jealousy.

So, if my cancer gets worse, in spite of the strong desire to become cancer free, I think I need to give up the desire, and not even think about cancer— if I apply the Buddhism teaching.

Invites God into the Heart

On the other hand, Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-13;

“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Paul was lashed five times, stoned once, shipwrecked three times, attacked by robbers and mobs who didn’t like the gospel he delivered, suffered from hunger and coldness (2 Corinthians 11:24-27), and was martyred eventually.

How come he, who went through so many afflictions, could make such an incredible statement?

Probably Paul, who had arrested and persecuted Christians, realized the weight of his Sin when he was struck by God and became a Christian, as well as the weight of God’s Grace, which redeemed him by the cost of the blood of Jesus. He could say so because he acknowledged that he deserved nothing but being loved so profoundly by the almighty God, I guess.

My medical record four years ago says about me as “ a patient with very aggressive breast cancer.” In the same year, an UCLA doctor, whom I asked for the 2nd opinion, said that he would be happy to see me if I could survive five years.

Cancer could’ve killed me by now and if I think about it, I become grateful. If I think that I, who am selfish, greedy, and arrogant, must have made God cry many times, the fact that I was still given loving family and friends, who pray for me daily, makes me humble and overwhelmed with joy in spite of cancer, which may never go away.

God loves me. His love penetrates to my core as though the strong summer sunbeam goes through my skin. I feel like I am blessed so much that there is nothing to complain about. This may be the secret Paul talked about.

For Christians, meditation means adding one more step, which is to invite God into the heart, after cleansing all junky thoughts.

If such a loving God is with me, why do I need to worry about tomorrow? Once I do my best, then the rest is in His hands. Just like Paul, I should trust Him and live today to fulfill the purpose God assigned for me as much as possible.

2 thoughts on “The Secret of Contentment

  1. Kathy – that writing was so profound! You walk with wisdom and light shines down on you.

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