[forthright] The Simple Things

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthright@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2003 10:12:34 -0200
  Forthright Magazine
  Straight to the Cross

  Here's a thought that needs to be iced down.

  COLUMN: Field Notes

  The Simple Things
  by Michael E. Brooks

  "Not that I speak in regard to need; for I have
  learned in whatever state I am, to be content"
  (Phil. 4:11).

  Tastes vary, in regard to food and drink as well
  as colors, fabrics, furniture, and cars. I am one
  who enjoys my hot foods and beverages very hot,
  and my cold ones very cold. One thing often
  missing in remote corners of the world is ice and
  refrigeration; therefore, a "sacrifice" I have
  frequently had to make is drinking lukewarm water
  or other beverages. This can be trying at times,
  particularly in very hot weather and while walking
  long distances.

  A few years ago my son, Scott, and I spent two
  weeks trekking in the Himalayas into remote
  villages to preach. On our way to the mountains we
  spent one night in a hotel in Sriya Brebensi
  where we enjoyed the coldest Cokes I have yet
  found in Nepal. Over the next two weeks we walked
  for more than seven days, including two and a half
  to get back to Sriya Brebensi after our last
  preaching stop. Though it was late October in the
  high mountains, daytime temperatures got into the
  80's, and with rugged climbs we became very
  hot and thirsty. Even before we started that last
  trek, we recalled the cold drinks we had enjoyed
  and began looking forward to them again. We
  weren't echoing the rich man's "just a drop on my
  tongue" (Luke 16:24). No, we wanted at least two
  drinks each! And the sooner the better! When we
  finally got back to the hotel we found the Cokes
  just as cold as we remembered. Nothing ever tasted
  any better!

  It doesn?t take a lot to make one happy.
  Especially if the needs are great and expectations
  are not. We can be physically satisfied with very
  little. It is our desire that causes trouble. Note
  Paul's self-analysis in our text. "I have learned
  ... to be content." It is about our attitude. James
  remarks upon the opposite nature:

  "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do
  they not come from your desires for pleasure that
  war in your members? You lust and do not have. You
  murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and
  war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask"
  (James 4:1-2).

  Contentment is not achieved with material
  possessions, power, or fame. It is a blessing that
  God gives as our reward for seeking his
  righteousness. And it is usually perceived through
  simple pleasures: a cold drink, a simple meal, the
  smile on the face of one just baptized into
  Christ. These bring a fulfillment and lasting
  satisfaction that mere wealth can never achieve.
  As Jesus said,

  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
  righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matt.