Monday, April 14, 2008

Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment - Idleness

Who are the men who are most discontented, but idle persons, persons who have nothing to occupy their minds? Every little thing disquiets and discontents them; but in the case of a man who has business of great weight and consequence, if all things go well with his great business which is in his head, he is not aware of meaner things in the family. On the other hand a man who lies at home and has nothing to do finds fault with everything. So it is with the heart: when the heart of a man has nothing to do, but to be busy about creature-comforts, every little thing troubles him; but when the heart is taken up with the weighty things of eternity, with the great things of eternal life, the things of here below that disquieted it before are things now of no consequence to him in comparison with the other-how things fall out here is not much regarded by him, if the one thing that is necessary is provided for. (pg. 93)

While busyness is not a perfect antidote for discontent, there is much in what Burroughs says in this paragraph. I wonder how much our "retire at 65" (or even 55) mentality has contributed to this general discontent in our society? As John Piper has stated on numerous occasions. there should be no "retirement" for the Christian. Retirement from secular work should provide the means to continue the work of ministry not serve as a conduit for idleness.

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