The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.
–Samuel Johnson, as quoted in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey)
These are thought-provoking words, coming as they do on the heels of a New Year’s fresh intentions to change the things that confound my contentment in hopes of better days ahead by so doing. What if my disposition is the real problem? Johnson’s sharp words of advice collide in my mind with the promises of the decluttering craze to brighten our lives with fresh joy if only we will learn to manage our possessions more fruitfully. Maybe what most needs managing is our very souls…who do we turn to for this?
For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (I Pet. 2:25 NIV)
Blessings on your New Year’s intentions. May they accord with those of the Shepherd who knows you through and through and who alone has the power to change what most needs changing.