Friday, March 27, 2015

Satisfaction

"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." 

The Enchanting Rose
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

84 comments:

  1. Great advice and post, Bethany..Lovely images! It is true we should never give up and always be willing to start over.. Have a happy day and weekend ahead!

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  2. What a wonderful analogy, Bethany. This post was very thought-provoking and I truly appreciated the honesty and wisdom that you shared.

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Your posts are always encouraging, Stephanie. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Hello Bethany,
    Beautiful pictures, nice to see you in the photo.
    We must never give up, and always start again.
    Best regards, Irma

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  4. That is neat stone bridge!

    I read Ecclesiastes last week and having been thinking about many of the same concepts as you covered in this post. It seems to me that satisfaction is very closely tied to contentment and contentment is dependent on trust in the Lord. Just like the St. Augustine quote summarized!

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    1. Ecclesiastes is very thought-provoking.

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  5. Wonderful message here, Bethany. Yes- we are always climbing and sliding. It is part of life. The trick, I think, is to not slide all the way down-because it is too hard to wind your way back up. xo Diana

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  6. if we wait to be satisfied with our life, we'll miss living it.

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  7. O, without new heights to reach for, new rivers to cross...life would be very dull. Those things are what makes a good life even better. :) I think the main thing is to love our God...and follow the Golden Rule.

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    1. It would be hard to go wrong with that!

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  8. St. Augustine said it so succinctly but I enjoyed pondering the topic with you, Bethany, and especially enjoyed the imagery provided through your photos...the amazing bridge!!!!!!! xx

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! There are so many good quotes out there--I keep an ever expanding collection of them handy.

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  9. Wow Bethany! I loved your photos today, and your words were full of wisdom!

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  10. Bethany you are right Men"s eyes are never satisfied I have experienced it personally I have visited a lot of places in Europe but I would like to visit much more... Man is never satisfied maybe in your continent is different but at my place men are greedy in each aspects of their lives..

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    1. I think greed is a more or less worldwide phenomenon.

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  11. You are wise beyond your years.

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    1. Thanks Michelle. The Lord gives wisdom, and I know I sure do need more!

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  12. I'm so glad that because of Christ alone, we know beyond a shadow of doubt that life has purpose, that it is not futile.

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  13. Amen Bethany. Only in Jesus can we find true satisfaction.

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  14. I wonder how they built that. Such a shame all things can't stay somehow well and whole. Even that tunnel is crumbling.

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    1. Time leaves its mark. Somethings take it better than others. :)

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  15. That's quite the old bridge you found, perfect place for picture taking!

    The only true satisfaction I've ever found is in my relationship with Jesus whom I trust completely!

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  16. I have always loved that quote! It's so very true, God is the only thing that can really satisfy the deepest longings of our soul. Love that bridge :-)
    A blessed Palm Sunday weekend to you.
    Blessings, Aimee

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  17. Beautiful photos and message. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  18. Wonderful post, Bethany. You are wise beyond your years. Sometimes we do have to start over. And sometimes that leads to new and exciting adventures.

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    1. True! It's best to look on the bright side!

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  19. Cada novo amigo que ganhamos no decorrer da vida aperfeiçoa-nos e enriquece-nos. (Maria Miranda)
    Amo, amo passear por aqui e apreciar suas lindas postagens!!!!!!!
    Tenha uma linda semana!
    Doce abraço, Marie.

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    1. Thank you for visiting! Your comments are helping me improve my Portuguese reading skills--I can just about mentally translate this one without Google Translate. :) You have a great week as well.

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  20. Hi Bethany, Reading this post this morning will be as good for me as going to church today. Seriously. You put a lot of wisdom here in a relatively short space. Thinking about how all this applies to life reminds me of this: Life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. Thanks for sharing this excellent post. I will have to give some thought today to what it would be like to have 1000 wives. :-)

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    1. You're right. This life is a journey. Now about 1000 wives....

      My papa thinks Solomon may be the person who invented the name tag.

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  21. Amen, Bethany! And your photos are lovely!

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    1. Thanks Linda! We took a wrong turn--and apparently it led us to a "right" place!

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  22. Maybe I seek inspiration elsewhere, but once you stand still you go backwards - life is a journey rather than an event. Learning is movement, and movement is essential.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  23. You are a very inspiring young lady
    Bless you, Bethany ..

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    1. Thanks Bob! We were quite surprised to see that bridge out in the middle of the Iowa countryside.

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  25. Beth, I do like all your posts, they are very special to me! I really liked how you said: " Satisfaction is life is elusive" and I am agree with you.

    "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." - it is sad that we are forgetting what is important in this life. Thank you darling for your writings. Love you, Liuba x

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    1. There are a lot of distractions! We just need to keep our eyes on Jesus!

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  26. Oh, I agree, we should choose to be happy and not let circumstances drag us down.
    Great post! Love the images. Have a great week!

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  27. Thanks for this! I've needed it lately. Have a super rich Resurrection Day!

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    1. Hope you had a good one! May God bless you with a great week!

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  28. Thought-provoking post, Bethany, and I like your photos too.

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  29. Such mature words of wisdom young Lady - and so true. Also, so appropriate for Holy week and thinking on how all things are possible because God's Son paid the ultimate sacrifice to make it so.

    Love the photos of that lovely bridge down in the woods. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a very blessed and happy Holy week and glorious Easter!! xo

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    1. Thank you! I hope you had a good week as well and that the Lord continues to bless you.

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  30. I think we would all be happier if we realized life can be like a roller coaster. A spiritual person can ride the hills and valleys without as much fear because of their faith.

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  31. This is wonderful images Bethany. I enjoyed reading this post Bethany. Thank you!

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  32. I just nominated you, Bethany, for the Liebster Award. If you would like to accept it go here:
    http://createdbythecreated.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-liebster-award-again.html

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    1. Thanks Kelpie! I'll endeavor to post my answers soon.

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  33. WoW, what a great post!!! and that first image is just gorgeous!!!!!

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  34. Such wisdom you have for such a young mind. I admire your faith and your ability to share it so beautifully with others. Thank you for touching me today. God bless.

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  35. You, my dear, are a very smart cookie. Do you think Solomon will be in heaven? I just heard a discussion concerning this a few weeks ago. Because I love glimpses through doors, gates, and windows, I really like that first photo.

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    1. I don't know if he will be in heaven or not--interesting question. The Bible says his wives turned him away in his old age, but I have heard some speculation that Ecclesiastes was a book of repentance. In any case, I hope he made it.

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  36. I really enjoyed this inspiring post and those are great pictures of that bridge. Blessings... :)

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  37. É Páscoa! Cristo está vivo, o túmulo está vazio, Ele ressuscitou!!! A mais bela festa dos Cristãos.
    Crentes no Amor de Deus Pai que nos deu seu Filho Jesus Cristo que permanece conosco pela força do
    Espírito Santos, seguimos nossa caminhada na construção de um mundo mais justo, fraterno, humano,
    harmonioso e de doação.
    Todos somos promotores da Paz!
    Feliz, Santa e Abençoada Páscoa.
    Um doce abraço, Marie.

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  38. Thanks for sharing Bethany- very inspiring. Have a wonderful Easter!

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  39. Thank you, Bethany, for sharing this wonderful post with Roses of Inspiration. May you have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!

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    1. I hope you enjoyed yours. God bless! :)

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