It seems like you can't turn on the television or open a newspaper these days without facing dire predictions of the economic collapse of our country. All day long I hear people talking, using expressions like "in this economy" while they discuss their employment or financial situation. Sadly, I don't know that we're going to face any improvement soon.

Probably the most natural reaction to this type of recession is to cut spending. I got to thinking the other day about things I could eliminate from my list of bills: cancel magazine subscriptions, change habits of eating out, stop drinking Coke Zero, etc. Its the quickest "fix" to regain control of our finances.

But then I thought about "contentment." I think it's easier to cut spending than to learn to be content with what I have. One is an action, and the other is an attitude. Someone can stop getting their Starbucks everyday, because they determine it's necessary. But their attitude may still be poor about it; they might even grumble to themselves, "As soon as I have more money, I'm going straight back to getting my morning Frappucino!" They haven't come to a place where they are content without it.

I struggle with how Paul was able to say, " I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

I read this poem recently by Fanny Crosby called "Resolve"

O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be;
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't!
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, and I won't.

I admire the attitude that this poem represents. Contentment is a choice.
Ariel Rainey