Soul Searching

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Bocas del Toro, Panama with almost

forty other brothers and sisters in Christ for a Vacation Bible School Campaign. It is

extremely hard for me to put into words how incredible of an experience this trip was.

Out of the many, many things I learned on this campaign, one thing that stuck with me

the most was how content the people were. Every day we would travel by boat for a

long period of time in order to reach whatever island we were working on that day. We

would hike, go through creeks, duck under a barbed wire fence, and face other

obstacles every day. At first, it seemed difficult. How in the world could anyone handle

going through this every day? These thoughts changed when I met the people. Smiling,

happy, kind faces met us daily. People would walk for miles in order to get to where we

were every single day. Children were excited over toy cars, bubbles, candy, and glow

bracelets. They were content with what they had, and that was a lesson for me to learn.

The dictionary definition of the word content is: satisfied with what one is or has;

not wanting more or anything else. The people of Bocas were content. As Christians, I

find that a lot of time we are not content with what we have. We receive something, we

want something better within the next few months. I’m just as guilty as the next person,

so this is mainly thoughts for myself that I am wanting to share with you. Many times we

seem to be okay with the routine of our Christianity. We go to Sunday morning worship,

then Sunday evening worship, then we put our Bibles away until it is time to pull them

out again for Wednesday night services. We go through the motions of being Christians,

we take our salvation and good lives for granted. We want more and more from God,

but we never give him the more and more He deserves. We’re never content with what

He has given us.

 

The Bible tells us a lot about contentment, so I picked out a few of my favorite

examples.

 

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,

because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and

we can take nothing out of it. (1 Timothy 6:6-7)

 

Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.

(Proverbs 28:6)

 

Last week I learned a whole lot about being content. People were excited to

come and worship every night, and bring their children for the VBS every day. It was

hot, we were sweaty, we were singing praise to God and worshipping together, we were

content. This was where God put us and it was exactly how it should have been. We

were satisfied with what we had, and we grew from it. My trip is hard to put into words,

because it was completely indescribable. We went there to teach the people there the

word of God, but I believe they taught us more than we could have ever imagined. The

people were content with the life they live, and it was a great eye opener for us. To end

this with a story, I want to tell about a little boy named Elicitl. I met Elicitl at our last VBS

location. He was a kind, quiet, sweet and caring ten year old boy. We became instant

friends, and I was thankful to have met him. The last night we were at the gospel

meeting, I catch a child in the corner of my eye running towards where our group was

sitting. It was Elicitl, and he wanted to sit with me. As we were singing, he pulled out his

worn out Spanish songbook and began showing me how to follow along as they were

singing. He brought happy tears to my eyes over and over that day. We were all given a

Bible written in Spanish to give to a child of our choice. I knew that night that I would be

choosing Elicitl. As I gave him the Bible, his eyes lit up. You would have thought that I

gave him a million dollars. He was ecstatic to receive a Bible of his own. At that

moment, I realized that we were both happy with the situation we were in. He taught me

what it was like to be content with the life God has given us, and that we are blessed

beyond measure with the many spiritual gifts we have received. Woody Allen once said,

“The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what

you don’t have.”


Rachel Garrison is a sophomore at Freed-Hardeman University majoring in Special Education. She attends Atwood church of Christ. Rachel volunteers with the Special Olympics organizations in West Tennessee. She loves blogging, going home to see her dog (and family), and binge watching Netflix instead of doing her homework.

Follow Rachel on Instagram and Twitter.