Cruising Route 66
“I Can’t Get No – Satisfaction”
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil–this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
There is nothing better than for a man or a woman to be happy, to do good, and to find satisfaction, but the truth is, “We can’t get no satisfaction!”
Oil tycoon J. Paul Getty told a reporter when asked if he was worth a billion dollars?” – “I suppose so. But, a billion doesn’t go as far as it used to.” – He still didn’t have enough. That same reporter met with Getty just before his death and asked him if there was anything he would change if he could. He said, “I’d change my philosophy. The way to cure discontentment is not to get more …”
If you find that you are not content, that you are not satisfied, then maybe you’re looking in the wrong places. Our hunger for satisfaction, and our thirst for contentment can often lead us away from the very thing that can fulfill us.
On the night of November 16, 1930, Mrs. Henrietta Garrett, a lonely 81-year-old widow, died in her home in Philadelphia, creating a stir that continues today. She had no family and failed to leave a will. Her estate was $17 million and due to inflation, her estate is worth $303.5 million today. If you add the compounded interest over 90+ years it may be pushing a billion.
Claims have been made by those who have changed their names, faked family records, altered church records, and bribed county officials. Of those false claims according to 2002 public records, 12 were cited and fined, 10 were sent to jail, 3 were murdered, and 2 committed suicide. At present over 3,000 lawyers representing 26,000 clients from 47 states and 29 foreign countries have filed claims for Henrietta’s estate.
We all want the “greener grass” that seems to always be on the other side of the fence. Usually, the greener grass requires more water, more work, and is most likely over the septic tank. One of the ironies of life is that you can earn it all, own it all, and never enjoy it at all. The ability to enjoy what one has earned is not guaranteed. Enjoyment and satisfaction, just like love and peace, are gifts that God bestows on those who love Him.
So, does this mean that God withholds satisfaction? – In a word, yes!
I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil. Ecclesiastes 6:1-2
If God wants us to follow Him, doesn’t it seem logical that He would be heaping the good life upon us? In our country we identify ourselves and others as the “haves and have nots.” The “have nots” don’t hold the same respect, as the “haves.” We don’t turn to the “have nots” for the answers to every question as we do to celebrities, or those in power, or with wealth. I guess we assume that if they have what we want or what we want to be, they must be the ones to seek out for leadership and for the answers.
Solomon, the wealthiest and wisest of men recognized that although satisfaction is a gift from God, it is a conditional gift. God is our provider, yet He didn’t allow us to be fully satisfied. Why would God withhold gratification and joy from His creation?
Could it be that our God is so loving and gracious, that this reserving satisfaction is actually an act of mercy! The withholding may be divinely designed to direct our search into proper channels. In not allowing a person to find fulfillment through possessions, position, power, desires or lusts, He leaves man hungry and unfulfilled.
To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26
Satisfaction is a gift of God It cannot be purchased or earned. It is available, but only to those whose eyes are upon God. He cannot be bribed or bought, because there is nothing other than you, that He finds valuable.
Note that there is not more wealth or new wealth, that you can obtain. It is only a matter of redistribution. God’s plan of forgiveness and restoration is the only thing that is adequate to satisfy. Thank God that He withholds satisfaction, keeping alive our search. So, is there an answer in finding true satisfaction?
First, We must recognize what stands in the way. The answer to that is – You! Admit to yourself that you can not attain it on your own. We will go to any length to avoid having to admit our inability to “do it ourselves”. Our good works will never make up for our failure to meet God’s holy standard.
Second. We need to acknowledge our failure. What is that failure? – Sin! It is not some inconvenient “social disease,” it’s fatal. It is the cancer of the soul. We will never find satisfaction until our relationship with God is restored, and that restoration has been provided. It’s called salvation.
Third. We must take a different course. What is that route? – Repentance! Scalding tears, and mournful wailing because we have disappointed God would be great, but the truth of the matter is, most of us don’t feel this way. Repentance requires a conscious decision to leave the self-centered lifestyle behind and seek a God-centered pattern of living.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
Christ is the beginning of a life of contentment and true satisfaction. He gives us strength to appreciate what we have, rather than covet what we do not. A king once suffered a very painful ailment and the called his healers and asked them for a cure. They told him to find a contented man, get his shirt, and wear it night and a day. He sent out men throughout the realm to seek out such a man and to bring back his shirt. After months they returned without a shirt. “Did you not find a contented man in all my realm?” the king asked. “Yes, O king, we have found one, just one in all the realm.” they said. “Then why did you not bring back his shirt?” the king demanded. Falling to their faces before the king, “Master, the man had no shirt.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17
Jesus plus nothing, equals true satisfaction! Remember, true contentment is not found in what you wear, but Who wears you.
Until nest time,