(John MacDuff, “Thoughts for the Quiet Hour”, 1895)
He who goes about whining all day long about some
imaginary drawbacks in the sphere which Providence
has assigned him–when all the while he is situated
so much better than thousands around–is a suicide
of his own happiness! He is also impeaching the
faithfulness of the Supreme Ordainer and Disposer.
One half of life’s enjoyment is eaten out by this sinful
craving after what cannot be obtained–the desire for
something supposed to be better. Yes, but when “the
better” is reached, there is the yearning for an imagined
“better” still. This is building air-castle upon air-castle!
If in these days there be one household demon more
than another which needs to be exorcized–it is the
demon of discontent!
Oh, for the spirit of Paul–poor and lonely prisoner in
Rome as he was–an apparent bankrupt in all that the
world deems wealth and affluence–yet who could make
this entry in his letter to his Philippian friends–“I have
learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
At the moment I have all I need–more than I need!”