Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finding Satisfaction

Dr. Hans Selye researched and popularized a tiny membrane in the back of our head known as the RAS: Reticular Activating System. Your RAS has a primary function: it moves you in the direction of your dominant thought at that moment. We naturally act on what fills our minds. When we become preoccupied with a thought, eventually we want to act on it. This is what many are trying to do in their lifetime…find satisfaction. You will notice that people are leaning towards this direction. When they change job, buy clothes, new cars and many others…the main idea of it all is to satisfy what is missing and what they do not have. Especially when one compares what they have and what others have, that’s when the spirit of dissatisfaction begins to manifest strongly. The urges within become a nagging feeling that needs to be satisfied. However, to others it became the dominant thought and course of action. Thus, all energy and attention are fully utilized in obtaining the desires and its wants both positively and negatively.

Former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, found himself unprepared for a television interview with Mother Teresa. Ron Mehl described the encounter this way: "All of Dan's standard approaches were inadequate. And the little nun from Calcutta didn't seem inclined to make his task easier. "When you pray," asked Dan, "what do you say to God?" "I don't say anything," she replied. "I listen." Dan tried another tack. "Well, okay...when God speaks to you, then, what does He say?" "He doesn't say anything. He listens." Dan looked bewildered. For an instant, he didn't know what to say. "And if you don't understand that," Mother Teresa added, "I can't explain it to you."

You may find yourself bewildered like Dan Rather with that kind of response. It might seem odd yet Mother Theresa found her satisfaction in the area of praying this way. It is not about the words you say or how many words you’ve said but the fact that there is a feeling of satisfaction in what you do. You see, to find satisfaction in life, stop looking at others and begin to see what God has given you at the moment. Never measure what you are and what you have with others. That’s where we miss the whole point of life and living. It is not about competing with your neighbor or anyone else for that neither matters in making them the measurement of what you need to attain. Here’s the botomline: God did not make us to compete with others but to find satisfaction only from Him.

The apostle Paul gave us a very important lesson on this subject. Read carefully what he has written to the church in Philippi as stated in Philippians 4:11-13, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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 him who gives me strength. (NIV) Being content and satisfied must be learned. It must be acquired by discipline and focused. In Paul’s case, it is through Jesus that gave him strength to be content in whatsoever circumstances whether good or bad. The situation at hand does not dictate the satisfaction and contentment but the knowledge that one needs to be content regardless of the situation is vital.

Moreover, consider what he has taught his disciple Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:6-10, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NIV)

This is an important principle to be contemplated daily and should remind us of our mortality. Remember that life is too short to be spent in pursuing the things that we cannot achieve in this lifetime though how hard we may try. Look around you and see how much we have already…family, friends, shelter, food, employment, clothing, money (though not plenty!) and many others. Jesus gave a stern warning in Luke 12:15, ‘Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."’ (NIV)

How true! What we have is not our life but they are part of our life. Therefore, begin to evaluate your life’s satisfaction. Where is it now? Have you found it or still looking for it? Try Jesus as Paul did. You might find it only in Him and through Him.

Let’s talk again!