Have you ever wondered where do you go to get satisfaction? Mick Jagger in 1965 and Brittany Spears in 2000 sang that they could get no satisfaction. If you have really sought after true purpose for life, true contentment or satisfaction in life then you may have discovered how elusive it can be.
Maybe you have assumed that purpose or satisfaction is found in wealth, power, or success. That is the solution our culture offers. In fact, wealth, power and success are not bad things in themselves, but the key question is do they really offer the true, deep, lasting contentment that we yearn for.
John Krakauer in his book ‘Into Thin Air’ wrote of his attempt to climb Mt Everest and achieve his life goal. Yet, when he reached the summit, as he sat on the top of the world, with one foot in Tibet and the other in Nepal he wrote: “I’d been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care.”
I think this is the experience of so many people who strive after something that they think will complete them. Maybe you have been pursuing a life of meaning and purpose, you have pursued wealth, power or success and yet there is something in you that is just exhausted. There is something in you that doubts whether these things will fulfil your longing for satisfaction.
The Apostle Paul as he looked back on his life knew he had been the classic over achiever. He was ahead of peers in any and every way, and now he considered all that achievement rubbish. His conclusion is that in the end it had not brought the contentment he thought it would. Later, when he wrote to the church at Philippi he would write these words, “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 GOD who gives me strength.”
Author Douglas Coupland wrote something similar in his book “Life after God”, he wrote: “Now-here is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God- that I am sick and can no longer make it alone”
Paul and Douglas Coupland, two men from different backgrounds, different beliefs, different times in history and surprisingly they come to the same conclusion. Satisfaction or contentment is only found in God.