Wanting Something More
July 14, 2016
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There’s an excitement about going to the county fair, state fair, or theme park such as Disney World or Six Flags. It’s an excitement, however, that doesn’t last. There’s often the heat or rain and the standing in long lines for long periods of time. Small children become cranky and mom and dad ask in frustration, “Is this the thanks we get for trying to show you a good time?”
No matter what the entertainment there comes a point where we think, “Is this all there is?” The experience often fails to measure up to the expectation. Almost always things fail to go completely the way we hoped they would.
Disappointment becomes part of the experience, but instead of seeing this disenchantment as negative we can embrace the positive in it. Our discontent with an experience can be a sacramental experience! It can remind us that full satisfaction and contentment are only found in God and His heaven. This side of heaven we have to settle for less than complete and permanent contentment and satisfaction. Our yearning for something more can be a reminder that only God and His heaven can satisfy completely. As the great Christian Augustine wrote in a prayer to God centuries ago, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
Does this mean we can’t enjoy the pleasures of this life? Not at all! In fact, when we stop demanding that experiences or people should satisfy us completely we can enjoy them for what they have to offer. Everything good in this world can be enjoyed as a limited, qualified pleasure while only God and His heaven can be enjoyed as an unlimited, unqualified pleasure. To demand total satisfaction and contentment from anything or anyone other than God is to make that thing, experience, or person our god, and nothing can be god other than God! That’s what God reminds us of in the very first of His Ten Commandments.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (The first of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:3)