Why is it we’re never satisfied?
As kids, we could hardly wait to grow up—to stay up late, drive a car, and never have to go to school.
As adults, we sometimes wish we were kids again—to play all day, take a nap, and never have to go to work.
As kids, time seemed to move slowly—especially when looking forward to a special event. Remember how L-O-O-O-N-G it took for Christmas to come?
As adults, time seems to move extremely fast—especially as Christmas approaches and the cards haven’t been sent, the gifts haven’t all been purchased yet, and the tree still sits in a bucket of water on the back porch.
We go shopping and come home with new place mats, some pillows for the family room, and a new quilt for the bed. For a while we’re delighted over the difference those items make to the decor.
In no time, though, our focus shifts from those lovely things to other “needs” we identify around the house.
Reminds me of what the oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller (1837-1939) said. He was asked, “How much is enough?” And he answered, “A little bit more.”
This from a man with an estimated fortune of $1.4 billion. In fact, Rockefeller was one of the wealthiest persons of all history. Not even Bill Gates or Sam Walton can come close.
Before we dismiss Mr. Rockefeller as selfish and greedy, though, it’s important to know he was generous with his fortune. His financial records indicate that $550 million were donated to schools, health organizations, scientific research, and the arts.
But his comment (perhaps spoken with a twinkle of humor in his eye) speaks to the attitude of many. We believe that with just a little more, we’d be content.
That’s a lie.
So what is the truth of the matter? What is the real reason we’re never satisfied?
The answer might be that contentment is the result of our focus. Our attitude is impacted by what occupies our thoughts. Therefore, we would be wise to:
1. Stay focused on who we are right now, and where we are right now. Every age and stage has its advantages and disadvantages. Which column is worth our attention?
2. Stay focused on what God is providing, what we have currently. “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow” (Helen Keller).
3. Stay focused on God’s attributes and blessings. “The fear of the Lord leads to life: then one rests content, untouched by trouble” (Proverbs 19:23).
To fear the Lord means to have reverence and awe for him. Such an attitude leads to many benefits in life, including:
- peace of mind, because our powerful and loving God is in control
- joy of heart, because of the pleasure in his bountiful blessings,
- contentment of spirit, because we’ve already received so much.
That’s how I want to live—totally satisfied, in complete serenity, as a worshipful tribute to my gracious God.
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Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gifts of serenity and satisfaction, when I focus on you. May my days be filled with your praise!