WHO isn't looking for satisfaction in some measure? Who doesn't entertain de-sires, feel needs, or strive to achieve goals that he or she hopes will bring satisfaction? It might even be said that mankind's search for satisfaction runs the engine of progress. While such efforts may bring us moments of satisfaction, all too often we find that these moments do not last. But even disappointments can impel our progress to lasting satisfaction-- spiritual satisfaction--if they force us to turn our efforts to higher goals, purer desires, deeper needs. Then we will truly be satisfied.
In the Bible the Psalmist says of God, ``I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness'' (Psalms 17:15). Mary Baker Eddy, the Discover-er and Founder of Christian Science, refers to this verse in her Miscellaneous Writings. There she says: ``All men shall be satisfied when they `awake in His likeness,' and they never should be until then'' (p. 358).
The word that stands out to me in this passage is awake. Elsewhere in the Bible we find these words of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ``Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light'' (5:14). Doesn't it sometimes seem that we are, indeed, asleep--even dead--to the light of intelligence and life that the Christ gives? But to the extent we are sincerely seeking truth, we are already rising out of apathy and ignorance. To the extent we are learning more of the truth of being, we are seeing the light. This spiritual awakening is what brings us true and lasting satisfaction. And as we become teachable, like little children, we find great satisfaction in each lesson learned. We are glad to put our knowledge into practice, to prove it and use it.
We can never be completely satisfied until we do awake in God's likeness, but our moments of awakening show us that we are moving in the right direction. Who wouldn't love to feel the wonderful comfort that comes when we find that our fears are baseless because God, good, is omnipotent and therefore error, or evil, is absolutely powerless? And who wouldn't find satisfaction in the practical demonstration of these facts? This is the light we find as we endeavor to understand and to follow Christ Jesus' teachings. His words are not soothing platitudes but are healing truths that show us the reality of God's creation.
Sometimes we get caught up in things that, despite their claims, can't possibly bring us satisfaction. Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gluttony, sensuality, are just some of these false dependencies. In the end they are detours that turn us aside from the spiritual growth and fulfillment that bring us true satisfaction. They foster helplessness and hopelessness and leave us ``dead'' to that which is genuinely pleasing, pure, and satisfying.
In her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 Mrs. Eddy points out: ``Happiness consists in being and in doing good; only what God gives, and what we give ourselves and others through His tenure, confers happiness: conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can. Consult thy every-day life; take its answer as to thy aims, motives, fondest purposes, and this oracle of years will put to flight all care for the world's soft flattery or its frown'' (p. 17).
We don't need to feel restless, unsure of our direction, unsatisfied with the content of our days. Instead, we can examine ourselves, turn away from what will never truly satisfy us, and nurture the genuinely satisfying spiritual desires that lie deep within. Then, when we ask ourselves, What do I really want? our answer will lead us back to what God gives.
The underlying need, which superficial pleas-ure only claims to gratify, is always for something that we already have that may only need cultivating. Spiritual ideas meet our needs. How? By supply-ing the inspiration, action, wisdom, to see the abundant good that God is already giving us.
It was spiritual ideas that helped me get my life out of the depths at a time when I thought there was no reason for me to be taking up space on earth. I had tried, without much success, to improve my days. I knew what I should do, but my heart was not in it. Then came a wonderful revelation--I already am made in God's image and likeness! And I realized that this Biblical fact should be my starting point, not a vague, impossible ideal to strive for sometime in the distant future. I have nothing to fear, everything to enjoy. This realization took away my discouragement and fear. I rejoiced that what I had to do--all I had to do--was to follow my Father's leadings and express my Maker.
This change of outlook on my part led to many fruitful developments, ones I could never have envisioned before. What a joy it has been to exchange ``I want'' for the ``I have'' of my God-given resources and then start capitalizing on what I do have! And I've found solid satisfaction in seeing with the light of Christ that we already have all good, and then step by step proceeding to express that good.
When we look for satisfaction in spiritual reality, our days can be happy and full. We're not tempted to seek satisfaction in false pleasures that betray us in the end. What does it take to be satisfied? It takes humility to start looking in the right place, perseverance to keep going, and determination to complete our journey. But all along the way we can find the spiritual growth and wisdom that enrich our days and provide true and lasting satisfaction.
BIBLE VERSE They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house.