High River United Church of High River, Alberta


A Season of Discontent

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This is a season of discontent. Nothing feels quite right. Whether in our jobs or in our family relationships (outside of our bubble), it just doesn’t quite feel like we are doing the job we want to be doing. As teachers, nurses, doctors, ministers, store clerks and also as grandparents, neighbours and friends, almost everything that comes so naturally to us, in how we do our job and how we relate to those around us, is now restricted or requires numerous protocols. It is exhausting and frustrating. It leaves us feeling so dis-satisfied and discontented. 

Heart of God 2

When we feel this way, the natural tendency is to try harder and to work harder. We want to make it work somehow, so we put more effort and energy in. We may constantly feel that we are failing because we can’t do the job the way we know how to do it best. We start to feel that we are the problem and that we are doing something wrong. But that is not the case. It is the pandemic that is the problem – that is what is wrong, not us!


But because we are good people, who want to do our best and who want to help and care for others, we keep pushing ourselves. Yet, no amount of pushing is going to change the fact that this pandemic has limited our natural interactions and normal way of doing so many things in our lives.


This is a season of discontent and dis-satisfaction. It just is. We need to accept that we will feel dis-satisfied and discontented, and learn to live with those feelings, rather than trying ever harder to make something work that just can’t work. While creativity and technology provide some unique ways of connecting and doing our jobs, there is nothing that will take the place of a good hug or an arm around the shoulder.  


Deciding that we don’t care and we are going to hug, shake hands and eat together outside of our bubble anyways is also not the answer, since that only helps COVID spread. There is also the danger that we will blame others for the discontent and dis-satisfaction we feel, when they too are caught in this just as much as we are. They too are doing the best with what they can do at this time. This just is a season of discontent and dis-satisfaction.


We need to name the discontent and dis-satisfaction that we feel and give ourselves permission to feel that way. We need to feel the sadness about what we miss and what can’t be part of our lives right now.   That is the only way to live in this season.


What I hope is, because of this discontent and dis-satisfaction, we will learn what we deeply value in life – the people who are important to us, the activities and gestures that are at the centre of our lives, the values that are at the core of our being. In this season of discontent, may we discover what we really cherish in life and then be ready to fully and whole-heartedly embrace these when this pandemic is done with us.


In the meantime, there is a gift to learning to be content with our discontentment. This is a spiritual practice that comes to us in prayer and reflection. As the apostle Paul reminds the church in Philippi,


    “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little,


     and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the


     secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 


      I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13


We too can find a contentment in this season of discontent because of God who strengthens us. Learning to live with what does not satisfy is what will get us through this in a way that working harder and pushing ourselves will never do. Part of this spiritual practice is to offer patience to medical staff, store personnel, educators, ministers, counsellors and others who are working above and beyond to provide for us during this time. Because we are followers of Jesus, we know that we can lean into God and find contentment in our discontent and share that contentment with others.


With all of our love and prayers,

Rev. Susan and Rev. David

High River United Church – a community of help, home & hope

 “Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.” A. Heschel


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