Longing for contentment: ‘when nothing seems to suit ya’
Take a moment today to think about the kind of person you want to become.
How is the way you live your life a reflection of this? If it’s true that you reap what you sow, are you happy with what you are reaping? Do you need to change what you are sowing? What is the guiding force in your life?
For people who are not guided by any type of faith or belief, their guiding force can sometimes become the pleasure of the moment. This is marked by the overconsumption we see in our society today. We have overeaten, overspent, overindulged and yet, there is still something missing; a soul longing for completion. We have tried to fill that longing with more things or different people or more activities, but they only provide a temporary fix.
Like a hamster on a wheel, without a divine purpose, we give our lives to work that holds no meaning, but only serves as a means to purchase more of whatever goods and adventures we think will fulfill our desires.
But between the adventures and purchases lies emptiness. We were made to discover our God-given gifts and use them in the service to others. This provides a thrill that can’t be found in simply seeking our own pleasure.
Some people proclaim to be guided by their faith, but it turns out to only be a gesture towards faith, not their overarching goal. They go to church and try to follow the rules and be a good person.
But, they still feel the emptiness. They don’t have an ongoing living sense of the spirit working in their lives because they have set their boundaries tight to keep things just the way they are now.
Reading the Bible becomes an act of turning to a handful of comfortable passages that don’t challenge them to read scripture in a way that shapes and transforms them into something new or to see others in a new light. They engage in service because someone has to do it, but they don’t feel the joy of living into their true gifts for doing God’s work.
Then there are the people who are truly guided by God. They live a life of love, giving themselves to the service of God. When they wake up in the morning, the question on their mind is, “How can I join in God’s work today?” They ask God, “Who is it that needs love today and how can I be involved in giving that love?”
Their walk with a community of faith connects them and strengthens them in doing this work. Instead of seeking pleasure, they find their purpose in being the hands and feet of Jesus, being doers of the word and not merely hearers of it (James 1:22) as they serve others.
They may experience grief, illness, poverty, and sadness, but that doesn’t define who they are. They are people who enjoy great peace and wholeness and make their home with God, wherever they are and whatever their circumstances.
Are you where you want to be? What is it that guides you?
*(From Cat Stevens’ “On the Road to Find Out”)