Weekend Thought: Contentment is a difficult attitude to learn

Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

One day a fisherman was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun with his line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. A businessman walked by and asked why he was fishing instead of making a living for himself and his family.

“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman. “You should be working rather than sitting here.”

The fisherman looked up, smiled and replied: “And what will be my reward?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish,” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again. The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you,” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman. The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked: “And what will be my reward?” The businessman was red with rage and shouted, “Don’t you understand, you can become rich! You can spend the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said: “And what do you think I am doing right now?”

Contentment is a difficult attitude to learn. It’s easy to get caught in the world’s trap of working harder and harder to earn more and more, when we may already have what can provide us with happiness.

I believe that a faith and trust in Jesus can give us that contentment and assurance in our lives. He can give us that peace which passes all understanding.