Some of us clergy couples struggle with jealousy. Some of us don’t. And sometimes we’re split on the matter. It took my partner seven and a half years before she felt the envy. Then (finally!) the other month the Rev. Jamie looked me in the eye and said (for the first time), “I am so jealous of you. If one more person says they’re going to give you a stole, I’m going to scream.”
Bruce Kramer was a dean and professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, a passionate lover of music, and part-time choir director at his Methodist church. In 2010, at age 54, he received a diagnosis of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Someone put Cathy Wurzer from Minnesota Public Radio’s Morning Edition program in touch with him.
Accumulation of wealth beyond meeting our basic needs doesn’t make us more content, studies show. Dr. Michael Finkelstein says that contentment takes practice. Think back on a time when you felt a sense of contentment, he says—it likely didn’t come from material possessions. “Our task is to simply discover where [contentment] resides” and focus on those times and places. It helps to “practice thinking, believing, and saying that you’re grateful and thankful for what you’ve been given” (excerpt from Slow Medicine: Hope and Healing for Chronic Illness in Utne, July).