"The eyes of men are never satisfied." --Proverbs 27:20
Satisfaction in life is elusive. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. The more I travel, the more I realize how many places I have yet to explore. I eat every day and eat again the next. I check off to-do lists only to start new ones.
Is there any goal I can work toward, finally reach, and say, "Ah, this is it! There is no way I can improve. I have reached perfection, satisfaction, and the ultimate happiness"?
While I enjoy research, I have only limited resources. King Solomon, however, was extremely wealthy. He tried accumulating knowledge, doing great projects, having singers serenade him, getting married (1000 times--maybe, just maybe, he overdid it), and raising children. But he didn't find satisfaction. He said, "All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing."
In a Greek story, a king called Sisyphus was punished by being forced to eternally roll a very large boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down again. Unfortunately a lot of times that is in a sense just how this life is.
|This old stone bridge is off to the side of a gravel road near Eldora, Iowa.|
Let's take the boulder of sports. No matter what pinnacle of physical excellence I might reach, I'll most likely get old and roll back down again. The same goes for chess and mental excellence. Take money, let's say I earn $100. Next thing I know, I spend some of it, and my total funds slide back down.
I enjoy life and taking on challenges. Rolling boulders can be fun and in a way, profitable! We all have to roll some in our lives. I prefer a variety to keep it interesting. But I know I will never reach eternal satisfaction from it.
In the end of his research, Solomon concluded, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
So, fellow boulder-rollers, without God's help, we would join Sisyphus in his quest of eternal futility. Don't be too disappointed when it seems you have to start over again. Trouble and frustration come to all of us. They're part of life.
Everyone has some of his or her boulders come crashing down at some point. But they're not what's really important. Don't gripe about failures. Life isn't meant to be miserable: don't choose misery. Choose happiness in spite of the circumstances. All things are possible for those who believe!
What is important is doing what's right, loving God and others, and finding peace in our hearts with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Efforts may sometimes be wasted, but love, joy, and kindness are not wasted.
"You have made us for Yourself, Oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." --St. Augustine