Saturday, December 17, 2016

Satisfied - Martin Wiles

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT

I suppose my grandson thought a clothing tag would satisfy him more than food.

I remember when my wife introduced our middle grandson to table food. According to medical experts, he had only reached the age for eating baby food, but baby food simply wasn’t doing the trick. He’s a big guy and needed more sustenance. Though our daughter would have fussed had he been the first grandchild, she was now the mother of two and had put aside many of the first-time mother concerns. She discovered grandparents knew best.

Though Colton loved table food, evidently even it didn’t satisfy his appetite. One day, after arriving at her house with both the boys, my daughter texted a picture to me asking if the object looked familiar. I stretched the picture to determine what it was. A clothing tag, I mused. She had fished it out of Colton’s mouth after he began gagging.  

Just as baby food didn’t satisfy our grandson, so King Solomon didn’t find satisfaction in anything he tried. He was the wealthiest king ever to rule over Israel and had more abundance that any other world ruler who preceded or followed him. He had the means to try it all…and did. But nothing satisfied. To use his phrase, his actions were like chasing the wind.
Human nature makes being disgruntled rather than satisfied easier. I grew up in a lower middle-class family, so I’m not accustomed to having much. I’ve had to learn to find contentment with what I had. 

Doing so hasn’t been easy. Looking at and longing for what others have is simpler. Being content with what God has given me without questioning Him about why I can’t have what so and so has is challenging. But if I don’t capture this longing, I’ll live in a permanent state of dissatisfaction—a miserable existence. 

Solomon’s advice is to enjoy what we have. This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t establish goals or have desires and initiatives. My contentment comes from knowing I’m where God wants me at the present moment. Why I can’t have more opportunities or things is a decision He makes, not me. 

I’ve decided I’ll enjoy life by accepting what I have presently and by looking forward to what God will give me in the future—things and opportunities included. 

What attitudes are keeping you from experiencing satisfaction?

Prayer: Father, teach us the art of contentment—a feeling of satisfaction that does not depend on relationships or circumstances. 

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