Tag Archive: satisfaction


Satisfaction

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (‭Psalm‬ ‭63‬:‭5‬ NIV)

In mid-life we encounter a crisis of satisfaction. The dreams of youth have faded, relationships come and go; and we start to see friends die. We’ve peaked in our careers or even started down the other side through layoffs and downsizing and wonder what’s left.

Satisfaction is all about perspective. I spent most of my career at a single employer before downsizing terminated my job in 2010; being well into my middle years, I don’t have the same shelf life as younger prospective employees and employment has been an on-and-off again prospect. At 59 years of age, I’m usually the junior employee and the first to be laid off when there’s a slowdown.

It’s easy to get discouraged.

God’s reality has to be foremost in my thought. I read of a God who binds Himself with an oath to care for His children; whose “loving kindness is better than life” who cares about justice and help for the lost and hurting. Of a God who incarnated, actually lived as a man in history, died, and rose again, promising resurrection and eternal life to any who would choose to put their hearts in His hand. Of a God who promises to use ALL things for my benefit, calling me to a wonderful destiny and remaking my heart.

I need to fill my head and heart with these things (this is where regular reading, thinking on scripture and being in community with other Christians comes in), and when I do, my perspective returns. All will be very well.

And when our satisfaction comes from God rather than security, job status, or what others think of us, we can relax. We’re freed up to explore how we can make the world a bit better.

I wish I could say I do all this perfectly. I still struggle; but I know which way to run when the emotional storms come, and I find refuge.

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“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly”. (Luke 21:34 NKJV)

We’re restless. There’s something we never quite have, and we try to fill the hole with sex, money, power, learning, new toys, new relationships.

If we are (as the Bible tells us) made for eternity, should we be surprised that we’re never completely content? That which satisfies lies outside ourselves, in other eternal things.

What will really make us happy? Really knowing and serving God, above all, and then putting others before ourselves, as our fellow travellers.

…By not trying to be.

 

When someone is trying to be popular, they’ll try very hard to understand the latest trends, to ingratiate themselves to others, and will become unpopular bores in the end. It’s only when they start to look outside themselves that they become interesting to others.

 

A similar principle happens in the pursuit of happiness. When we make this our goal, we’re focused on what we want; we’re turned inwards, and the harder we try, the more it eludes us. “Looking for love in all the wrong places”, we may drug ourselves with possessions, adrenaline sports, sex, alcohol, or partying, but we’re really just running from our own emptiness.

 

So what’s the secret of being happy?

 

Look outside yourself. Love God first, and then love to others as valuable because they are made in His image. Take humility and service as first principles; don’t do them because they will make you feel good about yourself (they won’t always do that), but because reaching out to others in love is right. Make your life about this, rather than your own satisfaction, and you’ll find everything else thrown in.

 

And you’ll notice (not when you’re looking for it, but when you look back) that the texture of your life starts to take on joy; a deep, soul satisfying thing of which happiness is merely the froth of – for you will have found what you were made for.