I've started jogging once again, after a long period of time where I chose not to. I realized that I need to get back in shape but I always have to have some extreme reason to do it in my mind or I won't do it. I find that is true with a lot of my clients who come in to counseling. I also have a hard time sticking with it when I see no immediate result.
On my jogs I have a good time in prayer and God speaks to me when I'm uncomfortable! On my most recent jog I was challenged on motivation and enjoyment. Most of my motivation to do things has to do with how I think others will respond to my action or choice. In this case I wanted the approval and accolades of my wife, but often those are only fleeting. At work it might be the approval of my peers or clients, but either way it was revealed to me that a lot of my actions are based on the approval of man. Now in and of itself, it is nice to have people encourage and build us up, but when that is my end goal it is very hard to enjoy life.
Motivation for anything I do has to come from my will and at times my will can be very misleading. Just like emotions, the will can lie to me and say that I'm doing something for a noble cause but in the end when my true motivation is revealed it can be disheartening. I'm not saying this to beat ourselves up, on the contrary, as I see my true motivation it is an opportunity to again confess and realign with the will of the Spirit within me.
So as I realign my will with Christ, I then begin to find enjoyment in life (even in jogs). I begin to see things through HIs eyes and give myself permission to simply "be". (We are human beings, not human doings) Enjoyment in life can come even in the most difficult circumstances and that is hard to understand unless I've been through it.
That brings me to the idea of contentment. Most people see this as complacency, but that is inaction. Contentment is as what Paul talks about in Phillipians 4, content in all circumstances because of "Christ who strengthens me" Enjoyment and contentment comes in the person of Christ and His life in us and he is everything but inaction. It has little to do with a set of circumstances or momentary feeling.
So as I align my will with Christ, I then can choose enjoyment. Like I said, the Father is good, and it is his job to reveal that to us. "What God reveals, he heals"