Selected Excerpts from Chapter 2 - I’d Rather Be Content

I have a job that requires me to be at a computer most of the day. I am fortunate enough to have a window in my office with a spectacular view of the air conditioning condensing unit on the roof. Not being one too easily deterred, I discovered some very high resolution webcams that have become my window on the world. One is an extremely pretty view of a harbor in Maine, another is a lake in New Hampshire and the third one is a beach at the Jersey Shore. My web browser has a homemade default page that has direct links to these webcam images. Every time I start my web browser, I stare through virtual windows on three beautiful spots in the world - and feed my discontentment. After months of watching the clouds skirt across the amazingly blue Maine sky, I began to research trips up that way. I found places to stay, restaurants where we were going to eat, I designed routes we should take, a budget and even a church we wanted to visit. It was a magnificently detailed travel plan with only one problem – we couldn’t do it.


Children’s songs have a remarkable ability to stick in your head. The power of a children’s song to pop into your head at random times can be a curse or a blessing. A song that my children grew up listening to pops into my head on a regular basis, “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear…” It is a lesson that any adult who wants to fight discontentment should learn. To gain contentment requires guarding our thoughts through guarding what our eyes see and our ears hear.

As a side note, I once had an exceptionally mischievous officemate who provided hours of entertainment on long afternoons when the post-lunch nap was calling. One of his favorite roles was being a “song terrorist.” He would walk past the open office door of some hapless victim, stick his head in and sing, “It’s a small world after all…” or some other parasitic song or jingle. Once the song like that is imbedded into the victim’s brain, it will require anesthesia and electro-shock therapy to erase. The screams of horror from the victim were heart wrenching, but delightfully entertaining.

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