Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. (Eccl. 4:6)
It is not a virtue to settle for less when you have not optimized your potential capacity. A mediocre or anyone who is just plain lazy does not reach their full potential and should never be applauded. On the other hand, there are those who put themselves on overdrive and go ‘beyond’ their capacity by sacrificing everything to achieve their goal. Our verse for today is exegeted by other verses like: “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife“ (Pro. 17:1). Things that we pursue that will result in discord in the family, church, or community are not a fair trade-off.
As a missionary to the Diaspora community, I have seen how the pursuit of the American Dream has led to the sacrifice and destruction of marriages, children, personal walk with Christ, personal health, etc. If only we could be contented with one handful with tranquility, rather than the pursuit of two handfuls with discord, we will be better off. We keep believing the lie that such sacrifices will be only for a season, and we will return to normalcy. It does not work that way. A person that is not contented with little will never be contented with much. Besides, the season of wrecking your marriage, missed opportunities to be there for your children during their formative years might never be regained. Some eventually walked away from the faith and others, because of overworking themselves died ‘early’ without achieving their goals.
Praying that we heed God’s admonition and walk in His wisdom so that we can continue living a balanced life with contentment and moderation.
Author: Rev. Sunday Bwanhot
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago and ECWA USA DCC Chairman.