A Perfect Life

I once heard a story about a seven-year-old boy named Nathan. Nathan and his parents live in a simple middle class neighborhood. Their house, cars, savings, possessions and overall lifestyle are quite modest. Nathan is a second grader. One day Nathan’s second-grade teacher gave her class a unique assignment. She told each student to write a brief essay and to draw a picture depicting their version of a perfect life. Nathan completed the assignment and turned it in to his teacher.

Nathan’s perfect life picture had three sections. First, he drew a picture of his modest house. The drawing included Nathan, his mom and dad, and his dog. Under the drawing of his house he wrote “My home.” To the right of his house he drew a checkerboard with faces inside each square. The caption under the drawing read, “My friends.” Next to his friends Nathan drew a picture of a church with a steeple. The caption read, “My church.”

Under the three pictures of his home, his friends, and his church, Nathan penned his brief essay. Nathan wrote, “A perfect life for me is the life that I’m in right now. Because I have a lot of friends, and a good family too, and a good church. I do not need a perfect life. I already have a perfect life.”

Nathan is only seven years old. But he’s already figured out that contentment in life comes not from getting more, but from being grateful for what we already have.