uring a recent discussion with my husband one cloudy, late morning, the subject of conversation shifted to the general state of being content.
“I am very happy with my life. If there is anybody that has it better than me, it would be Bill,” David stated matter of factly.
“Bill?” I asked. I was inspired more than I was surprised.
Ever since his first encounter with Bill about five years ago, David has held Bill in high regard. They met when David accepted a job as an on-call employee for the imaging firm that Bill manages. At that time, Bill was overseeing the operation of at least six outpatient imaging clinics in the region. With the economic downfall, Bill was forced to close the doors on three locations. Because he and David have worked numerous times together, David has seen Bill during the best and worst of times from a business standpoint. It was Bill’s character that clutched David’s attention and earned his admiration.
Bill’s positive attitude, the eagerness to forgive others, and his ability to withstand the difficulties of life and business management are what David finds inspiring. He recalled an instance when Bill came to work sick yet cheerful and motivated to perform his job well regardless of how he was feeling.
“Are you feeling ok, Bill?” he inquired.
“Oh yeah, David! I’m doing great!”
“Are you sure?” he probed. “You don’t sound well.”
“Oh, I’m doing fine.”
“Ok – REALLY, honey?” I questioned David after he shared that brief conversation between the two of them.
It was obvious to David that he was sick. Or, maybe I was thinking too critically. Maybe Bill really was “fine.” But do you know that one person who seems to never have a complaint and always appears to be composed and proper? Someone with a smile on their face every time you see them that you wonder if they have ever had a bad day? I don’t think anyone leads a perfect life, but if anyone did, most people couldn’t relate to that. After all, aren’t Christians supposed to be real about their struggles? How would unbelievers connect with us if our lives were perfect? Perhaps an even more important question is if our lives were flawless, what need would there be for a perfect Savior? I wasn’t trying to find any fault in Bill. I have met him and spoke with him a time or two and he truly seemed like a kind and genuine individual. But still – I wondered…
As our conversation carried on and I was listening to my husband’s plausible explanation as to why Bill may have answered the way he did, I felt ashamed as verse after verse began to invade my memory. My brain couldn’t finish one verse before the next one was introduced.
“Do everything without complaining and arguing so that no one can criticize you…”
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…”
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…”
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
I caught myself and focused again on what David was saying.
Ultimately, Bill’s mindset and heart is in the right place. He isn’t pretending to have a perfect life or that he doesn’t have any faults. The very fact that he wakes up in the morning and has air in his lungs causes him to get up and praise the Lord. With a thankful heart, he walks into each new day with positivity and purpose. Bill couldn’t be any more real than that.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
Note: The name “Bill” was changed to protect the individual’s actual identity.