Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb 13:5
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
When you look back on your life, it’s amazing which of your friends are friends-for-life.Some of the friends you had in high school that you were sure would be beside you forever you’ve never heard from again. And some people you barely knew back in the beginning of things are the ones who are still there after all the years pass by. My friend, Eric, falls into the latter category.
I first met Eric when he was about 14 years old. That was almost 20 years ago. He was in the Special Education class at the middle school where I was teaching. Eric was born with Down syndrome. For six years, Eric and I had the same conversation as he walked past my classroom to his classroom.
“How are you today, Eric?”
“Still fat. You fat, too, Cash.”
“Is everything going okay today, Eric?”
“Heck yeah. Bye, Cash”
“Well, have a good day today, Eric!”
When Eric turned 21, he had to “graduate” because he was too old to go to school. So now he usually accompanies his mother in whatever she’s doing. His mom is the lunchroom lady, and she also drives a school bus. Whatever Eric’s mom is doing around the school, Eric has to sit and wait for her to finish before he can go home. He does a lot of sitting and waiting.
A few weeks ago Eric and I were both at a high school football game. I was standing at the gate selling programs and Eric’s mom was selling tickets. Eric, as always, was sitting and patiently waiting. That particular Friday had been a long day for me. I had been busy since 5 a.m., and at 9 p.m. I was tired, cold, and very ready for the ball game to be over so I could go home and sit down.
I turned to Eric (who had been sitting in a lawn chair waiting for hours) and asked him if he was ready to go home. To my surprise, he answered, “No, Cash.”I said, “Eric, you mean you are sitting up here at nine o’clock at night and you’re not ready to go home yet? Why not?” His answer floored me. He simply said, “I’m happy.”
I have a feeling that most of you are more like me, and less like Eric. I mean, don’t you spend a lot of your life wishing you were somewhere else than the place you are? In reality, we are not SPENDING our lives, but WASTING our lives being discontented.
So, this week, let’s strive to be happy with what we have and where we are. Everything we have was given to us by our Heavenly Father, and whatever situation we are in, the Saviour is present with us! When we realize that fact, we can transform our circumstances by merely changing the thoughts of our minds and the attitudes of our hearts. As the old poem says, “Two look out from prison bars; one saw mud, the other stars.” May the Lord bless all of us with the peace and joy that comes from a spirit of contentment!
Dr. John L. Cash (pictured above with Eric) is the “Country Preacher Dad” (Sing that to the tune of “Secret Agent Man.” ) He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Cash boys often discuss the details of the weekly pep-rally, which John and Eric always watch together). You should drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.