Advent is a good time to reflect on the many gifts we already have, and even on the many material things that make our lives more pleasant and less difficult. But we don’t have to be very far along in the spiritual life to understand that having more isn’t going to fill an emptiness in our souls. Contentment is a great gift that we don’t always appreciate. It’s not as rare as we might think. Instead of asking whether we’re happy, perhaps we can get into the habit of asking how content we are. Contentment has in it an element of peace that’s greatly needed in our lives and in our world today. And the more content we are with what we possess, the more likely we are to hold those things lightly and to give to those whose needs are greater and more genuine than our passing desires. The prophet Isaiah speaks of prosperity and success being like a river or the waves of the sea: infinite but constantly in motion. We are to hold our treasures lightly, knowing that they come from God.
— from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent
by Diane M. Houdek