What's wrong with wanting to be first? What happens when my goals are so important that nothing will stand in the way of success? Even when you know the admirers give only lip service, is it worth all the trail of pain, broken hearts, exhaustion, lost moments that can never be retrieved, and when the end finally comes, did money, fame, broken relations, estranged families, and things make you happy? Oh, the few who do make the grade are such a minuscule percentage compared to the total who attempt is lamentable but the results are similar. Many think money will solve all the problems but the mere "love" of money leads to the same demise -- it's the act or path that leads to the ultimate goal that is trampled with good intentions and some not so savory aspirations.
In our culture, the word that defines the opposite has long been forsaken as an antiquated myth: CONTENTMENT . What a rare jewel!!! How is it achieved? It is "learned" daily within the fires of life's kiln. The Bible records three times the Potter and the Clay story. The Clay is modeled, shaped, and formed by the Potter for His delight and use. The Clay does not talk or disagree because the Potter cannot make a mistake. So, when Potter (God) takes the Clay (human) and spins his wheel and moves His skilled fingers to shaped the object of His affection into any shape of His desire, it will be right!!
The New Testament Apostle Paul explains the process from personal experience:
Philippians 4:11-13 (English Standard Version)11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be(A) content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and(B) hunger, abundance and(C) need. 13I can do all things(D) through him who strengthens me.
Cross references:Please note: (1) "learned" - 2x = through actual experience; (2) Verse 13 - "...through him..." means Jesus Christ the Lord.
Contentment is not easy but it takes life's fiery trials along with the comfort of the Lord to mold our harden hearts into vessels that willing serve Him, humanity, and His people. James 1:2-4 speaks of trials as a testing of our faith -- an untested faith is worthless. But as we pass through the fire, affliction, and pain they make us perfect (mature) -- CONTENTMENT!!! And when our days are over, and the memories and words spoken in remembrance of what we did, may the name of the Lord be interspersed and integral in our lives/faith so that our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and church will know that being content in Christ is priceless.