Nothing is ever enough. The money we make. The respect we earn. The satisfaction in a job well done. No matter the tears and sweat we pour into ourselves, into others, and into projects—in the end we are left, surrounded by all we have gained and wondering, is there ever a point where we will be satisfied with what life?
What is the meaning behind all this struggle? Behind this life? Where can we go or what point can we reach that will finally, fully, satisfy us?
It’s easy to excuse this thought process as natural when one is younger-ish. *looks at self* But it’s a trap anyone at any stage of life can slip into.
For me, it 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.
It was something I realized very early. And, because I over-think everything, there was another thing I realized.
No matter how far I went, there would always be something else to do. There would always be heroes I looked up to. Someone who did it better.
So what if I publish a million books? Why can’t I sell two million?
So what if my book is traditionally published? Why can’t I get it made into a movie?
I look at myself and I know—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?
Why isn’t this enough? What do I have to do to feel a sense of completion?
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.’
And, slowly, I realized that is true of everything and everyone on this earth.
There is nothing here that will satisfy us fully. We work and struggle and work some more, but no pay-off is every going to be large enough.
Oh, there will be happy moments. Proud moments. Moments of warmth and recognition. But they will fade and we’ll be left with…what?
Our accomplishments written out in ink?
The distant admiration of people we don’t even know?
Except who said we had to be satisfied with things here on earth? Who said that it would be enough?
If it were enough, we’d have no reason to look further. If we could fulfill all of our desires here, what need would we have to look to God?
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.
The one thing that will give our life meaning.
A focus on what matters. 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.
No longer are we trying to reach all these goals just so we will be satisfied. Rather, we are reaching them, but 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 can enjoy what we do find even more. We can live, we can 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 wrong places instead of fixing our eyes beyond what we can see, to a hope that will never fail.
Instead of living for ourselves, we must live a life where we rest in confidence, knowing that it is in our relationship with God through our whole life, rather than a handful of accomplishments, that carries us the furthest.
Yes, someday we will be satisfied. But it will not be in ourselves and for ourselves. Rather it will be in Another—it is an ultimate satisfaction nothing here on earth can tarnish.
And in that, we can be satisfied.