“I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”… or Can I?
“I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no”
-“Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones
In an incoherent state, this song was first recorded only to take its journey to top the charts as a #1 hit in the summer of 1965 and remain there for 14 weeks. The meaning of this song is easily understandable to most. And yet could the lyrics also suggest a certain frame of mind we have adopted 21st century? Is there a void that we find ourselves trying to fill? Are we forever searching for that one thing that will satisfy us? Before you or I believe we are exempt in such a quest, let’s take a quick evaluation.
Do I seek satisfaction in who people think that I am? Some may think who we are is synonymous with our occupation. There is a desire to be successful in what one finds themselves doing. But even more than that, there is that innate drive to be better than someone else. The drive to be the best secretary, teacher, mom, interior decorator, doctor, lawyer, electrician, mechanic, welder, nurse… only to gain nods of approval.
I find myself in this struggle most often as a mother. If my child does not meet the standards that I have placed in my mind, I find myself getting upset. As I dig deeper, I realize that my frustration is not over their performance, but it is over my thoughts of how someone might perceive my inadequacies as a mom.
Is there an insatiable thirst to know more and understand more? Even when one feels competent to converse about a topic, there is subtle recognition that there is more to know out there. There is always more to learn. And then there is always someone who knows more than what you may on a topic you have studied at great length. Is that thought unsettling? Will the thirst for knowledge ever be satiated?
Shopping? Cars? Hunting? Nutrition? Our hobbies can take up more of our focus and energy than what we are willing to admit. Working out becomes more of a religion. The laser-like focus poured into watching and playing sports leads to the possible emotional neglect of our families. Music becomes an obsession and artists are set up as our source of foundational information and truth.
Is there a subtle desire to ‘keep up with the Joneses’? Our status in life is often equated with our material possessions. The latest car, motorcycle, TV, iPhone, computer, technological gadget… We truly believe that acquiring these things will help us or even our children gain better standing with the world. And yet at what point do we say that what we have is truly enough?
“Sure, I’ll do that!” Once again, we find ourselves agreeing to something that will just add to our never-ending list of things to do. No one sees the exhaustion or feels the stress we are under. No one is there to understand the migraine-like insomnia overtake us as our minds race with our to-do list. And yet… what is the point of that? Are we seeking attention, success, or desire to be labeled as ‘the one who does it all’?
What about the “P” word? Yes, I will say it: politics. Our identity has morphed into with whom we align ourselves. There is either an association or disassociation socially when we learn of another’s politics. Where does that leave listening to hear and understand the other side? Where does that leave humility as we have civil discourse and agree to disagree?
Think about the few topics mentioned: my identity, my intellect, my hobbies, my possessions, my involvement, my politics. None of the above-mentioned subjects are negative in and of themselves. However, what word is repetitive? “My”. When the way we perceive the world becomes about “me”, we will not have true satisfaction. There will be a constant drive for the next best thing. What if we were to add just one little component that brings about a massive change? Instead of it being all about me, what if we were to shine the light on God and Who He is? All of a sudden, who I am is founded in Christ and Christ alone. I am now content with who I am knowing I am founded in Him. I can use my intellect for Him. God’s Word becomes my plumb line by which I measure whatever else I may hear or read. My hobbies are enjoyable, but I recognize they are a gift from Him and thank Him for that outlet. My possessions are not my own, but they are God’s. I use my resources to bless others. We are busy for the cause of Christ, and yet we know how to be still and truly take a Sabbath. I am involved only to show Him off. We seek to become intentional about how we spend our time. In my politics, whatever they may be, I am gracious, kind, and loving to those who differ from me. I am informed, knowledgeable, and yet not demeaning.
Who and what we believe is now grounded in a Person. It is not in what we are able to gain, but what we are able to give for the cause of Christ. There will more than likely be a constant struggle for this kind of balance in life. But do not become discouraged. Take the time to reevaluate where you are constantly and with humility. Have a close accountability partner to give you wise advice who will lovingly point you to Christ. Boast in Christ. May what you and I do always point to our Lord and Savior. I leave you with these lyrics by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Graham Kendrick.
“My Worth Is Not In What I Own”
My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross
My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross
As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross
I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom's fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross
Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed - my ransom paid
At the cross
I rejoice in my Redeemer
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.