2008-11-23 (am) Psalm 24:1-2, 5-9 Satisfaction
Even though they’re packed with peanuts, do snickers really satisfy? Is a Snickers bar an adequate substitute for supper? Will it really satisfy you for long?
Snickers don’t really satisfy, do they?
But think about it for a minute. Does anything really satisfy?
Isn’t it true that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
We tend to be easily dissatisified with what we have, and see satisfaction in other things, or in what other people have.
Most advertising operates with this in mind. Products are marketed as providing a better experience, a better quality than what you have now. Sometimes it is totally ludicrous. I happen to love the absurdity of commercials that show how much better HDTV is compared to standard television. The problem? I’m watch the HDTV comparison on my standard television. The limitations of my television preclude the ability to tell the difference. It’s almost like asking a blind man to judge who’s a better painter, Van Gogh or Picasso.
A type of advertising that actually makes me quite angry is lottery advertising. It shows a false reality. First, they make it look like every winner gets the jackpot. Second, they make it look like everyone who wins is happy.
According to the BC Lotto website, the odds of winning a full Lotto 649 is 1 in 13,983,816. And if somehow you beat those odds, you’re only going to receive 80% of the jackpot. And if more people have the winning numbers, you will have to split the jackpot with them, giving you less than 80%.
There have been 10 Lotto 649 winners in BC since August 30. Of the ten only 1 won anything close to the jackpot, he won over 4 million. The other nine averaged winnings of less than $89,000.00. That’s a far cry from the promises inferred in the commercials. I’m pretty sure you can’t buy enough lakefront cottages for your whole family on that amount of winnings.
That’s just looking at the winners, how many losers were there? How many people spent hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the hopes of a big win? At odds of one in almost 14 million, who would even be foolish enough to try? Unfortunately statistics show that those who can least afford to throw away money, spend the most.
Of course it isn’t just lottos and commercials that influence us in these ways. We have our own discontented natures to deal with.
As children, we believe that life will be really great when we can drive! As teenagers, we think that life will be really great when we get out of school and do what we want.
When you find out that you can’t bum off your parents forever, you think that finding a career will really give you satisfaction. You think life will be so much better if I could just get married. You get married and you think life will be so much more complete if I can just have kids. You get kids and you think, when my kids get a bit older, life will be much better.
And this attitude doesn’t just persist in our personal lives; it influences our attitudes toward church and God.
If my church were just a little different, if the preaching was just a bit better, I’d get much more out of it. If I can just go on a missions trip, then the Bible will make more sense, and I’ll feel really good about myself. If I can just avoid doing that one sin, then I’ll really be growing in my faith. If I can just get this, do that, experience something, then, yeah, I’ll be truly satisfied.
Now in all of these examples reveal that there is a deep, deep longing within us. We long to get satisfaction. And when we don’t find it, we keep on looking for it.
According to God’s Word, this longing is good. God created this longing in us. This longing finds satisfaction in God and God alone.
Unfortunately, we have several factors that keep us from seeking our satisfaction in God. These are: the world, our flesh, and the devil.
We’ve already looked at the world, through the example of advertising. We’ve already looked at our flesh, in finding desires in ourselves.