Nothing is ever enough, have you noticed that?
The money we make. The respect we earn. The satisfaction in a job well done. No sooner do we accomplish one goal than we make ourselves another. And in the end we are left, surrounded by all we have gained and wondering one question.
Is there ever a point where we will be satisfied with life?
Nope. Not really.
At least not alone. But *spoilers*
For me, the biggest area I see this is writing. No matter what I do, there is always something bigger. Something brighter. Some greater challenge.
- If I could work harder and publish books faster…
- If I could hit number one in my categories…
- If I could consistently sell books beyond the launch week…
- If I could publish some short stories or flash fiction…
- If I could make a steady income…
- If I could be traditionally published…
- If I could speak at conferences…
For every step I take in life, the horizon spreads another mile.
No matter how far I go, there is always be something else to do. There would always be heroes I looked up to. Someone who did it better. And they look up to other authors and those authors look up to others.
I could be a world-famous author. I could have millions of books sold, movies made, people clamoring for attention, speeches lined up, and still sit alone in a deserted corner of the castle I’ve bought and wonder why.
What does any of this actually matter?
No matter how hard I work, I will never reach the point where I can think ‘this…now this is what I’m talking about. This is enough.’
It’s not just me
There is nothing in this world that will satisfy us fully. We work and struggle and work some more, but no pay-off is ever going to be large enough.
Oh, there will be happy moments. Proud moments. Moments of warmth and recognition. But they fade and we’ll be left with…what?
Our accomplishments written in ink?
The distant admiration of people we don’t know?
A trophy collecting dust?
We’re missing the point
Except who said we had to be satisfied with things here on earth? Who said it would be enough?
If we had enough here, we’d have no reason to look further. If we could fulfill all of our desires on earth, what need would we have to look to God?
Meant for something more
We’ve been created with physical bodies, but with souls that will last for eternity. And somewhere, deep down, that restless longing keeps pushing us forward.
We know we were made for more than this, whatever ‘this’ is. Mounds of laundry. Piles of editing. That blank screen and taunting cursor. Children who want to eat three meals every day.
So we go searching
Our problem is that, so often, we search for meaning in the places that will never satisfy.
Physical possessions. Money. Relationships. People. It is so easy to look in all the wrong places, trying to find what we think we want and, in the process, missing what we actually need.
Only one thing will give our life meaning
A focus on God.
If we focus on what we want and do and are, there’s always more. If we focus on who we are in God, our relationship with Him, and doing His will, then everything subtly shifts.
We aren’t trying to reach all these goals just so we will be satisfied. Rather, we are reaching them with a larger end in mind. They satisfy us to some degree because we know they are part of a longer journey, but we don’t require a ‘final satisfaction’ in those projects to compensate for everything we’ve gone through.
That’s coming later—a final rest and ultimate reward.
When we don’t need to find ultimate satisfaction in our own work, we enjoy what we do find even more. We live, we walk, and we draw meaning from every action we perform with our end goal in mind. Glorifying God. Loving and living in the joy and hope He provides.
Our problem is not that satisfaction and contentment are impossible
Our problem is that we are looking for them in the wrong places instead of fixing our eyes beyond what we can see, to a hope that will never fail.
Yes, someday we will be satisfied. But it will not be in ourselves and for ourselves. It will be in God and absolutely nothing will be able to take that away from us.
Originally published in November 2019