I was mired in discontent when I got into the taxi. The driver was Ethiopian--a slight man with a lined, kind face and bright eyes. His wife and children are in this country, but the rest of his family is in Ethiopia. He has visited them only three times in fourteen years. I felt sad for him. In my own discontent, I imagined him discontent. “Do you miss your country?” I asked. His bright eyes brightened. “Sometimes I miss my family, but not my country. This country is so beautiful—so many trees and so clean and so many jobs and so much opportunity for my children!” The more he talked about the goodness of this country and the goodness of his life, the more animated he became. He leaned forward, gripping the steering wheel and working hard to find words in English to express his joy. At the end of the ride, I thanked him. I am still thanking.
“Open my eyes. . . .” Psalm 119:18
“[T]ry to find some bright spot, something to be satisfied with, and even to be thankful for. Go on by degrees, as your spirit grows stronger, to add to the subjects on which you abstain from murmuring, and those for which you can be thankful. Thus, by degrees, your heart, which was dark and drear, will become bright and happy. . . . All the world will change its aspect. . . . [L]et us never rest until we truly know what contentment means. . . .” Pricilla Maurice, who suffered from chronic illness