catapult magazine

catapult magazine




Sep 04 2002
06:31 pm

I guess I’d ask where does discontentment come from? Does it originate from a place within that is not satisfied? I think what Solomon was trying to say by making the statement, “All is meaningless,” is found in underlying motivation.

If the motivation to fill an internal hole with something other than Divine relationship, it is sincerely going to net you meaninglessness. There really isn’t anything that you “need” beyond the basics and a deep relationship with God. And I’m very serious about that.

Why do we seek pleasure? Boredom? Pride: you think that you deserve more or better than what you have? Covetness? Addiction? Emptiness? Stimulation? Neediness? Relieve any sort of pain? Escapeism?

I’m not sure we should seek pleasure any more than we should seek pain. Paul says, “I’ve learned to be content in all things.” I think by all things, he meant ALL! Whether Paul was making tents or sitting in a prision cell with blood trickling down his back from a recent beating, eating with wealthy publicans or starving with the poor, he was content. Did he deprive himself of good things when he had them? Doesn’t seem like it. Did he complain about the bad things that happened to him? Doesn’t seem like it. The key to his success was that he praised God, consistently. I can’t find an “I deserve” mentality anywhere except perhaps, I deserve to go to hell because I’m the worst of sinners, the least of the apostles.

What if Jesus copped an attitude of discontentment? "Man, Father, this is really boring. Couldn’t you liven things up a bit? Maybe allow me to do a few more miracles, maybe put on some big parties. You know, maybe it’d just be nice to be able to go four wheeling for the day? I’m sick of working, and this job as a carpenter stinks. This job as Rabbi stinks even more. Everybody keeps demanding things of me. I deserve better! Better wages, better accomodations, better clothes, better entertainment, better….

And that is what we’re taught from cradle to grave. It’s all about what you deserve, what you can attain, what you can achieve. It’s the power of the mind, the power of “I”, the power in you to “be all that you can be.” It’s the onslaught of “Will to Power.” It’s performance orientation glorifed as the greatest state of human health, human potential maximized.

Why do we chase after all this stuff. One of the big factors is greed, to be honest. Greed in culture and greed within ourselves. We’re bred to want more, and there are so many people out there who want us to want more because it makes more for them so that they can have more. And the more you have the more discontent and dissatisfied you become. At least Solomon in all his wisdom had the sense to recognize that everything left him empty. In some ways I think he was the most stupid King because he had all the wisdom in the world, knew the right answers, knew what would satisfy his soul and he chose to worship idols instead. And I guess that would go along with his hedonism, the worship of himself. That would have been what he needed to sacrifice in order to find true peace and happiness.

I note Jesus’ “me” times of midnight intercession. Prayerful rejuvenation in the wee hours of the morning. When was the last time any of us prayed at 2 am, just to connect with the Lord because we’d been exhausting ourselves in the service of His work?

Gathsemane also comes to mind, and that small window of alone time was a plea to be released from the Cross.

To be honest, among the greatest of saints I don’t see a spirit of discontent. God in fact hates murmering and complaining. I don’t know of many biblical characters manifesting the power, grace and authority of God as a pleasure seeking group of folks. Does that mean they never had a beer? Does it mean they never laughed and went to feasts and had a great time in community, no. I would wager they were normal people with normal lives.

I think it simply points to motivation and certainly attitude. I think God desires us to busy ourselves with His work, and His work is so vast that Jesus said to pray that the Lord would send more workers, because of the greatness of the harvest. I think the work sometimes is finding a quiet place and meditating upon His goodness, His Word and His character. Sometimes it might mean helping at church. Sometimes it might be mountain biking with a group of guys.

Be sensetive to the Spirit, and be filled with Christ. Everything else beyond seeking His kindgom will be added—whatever that means, be content in it. He is profoundly filling, and far more entertaining than the very poor excuses we have for entertainment in our “I deserve” culture of today.

God is exciting, and maybe that’s what needs to be communicated, rejuvenated and cultivated in our society. Being godly, seeking Him and doing His work is an awesome wild ride, in which faith moves mountains, tears down walls and brings transformation in lives, communities and the world at large.

He will certainly leave you satisfied in all the right ways.

Here are some verses you can reference which deal with pleasure: Dan 4:2, Ps 16:11, Prov 10:23; 21:17, Ecces 2:1-2, Ezek 18:32, Luke 8:14, 1 Tim 5:6, 2 Tim 3:4, James 4:3, Titus 3:3.

Here are some verses you can reference about contentment: Job 36:11, Prov 19:23, Heb 13:5, 1 tim 6:6-8, Phil 4:11, Luke 3:14.

Hope this sparks some ideas for your script, Kristen?