Always Chasing but Never Catching

Posted on: January 28, 2015, by :

theempowerroom.comHow often do we look at Monday and pray that Friday will come soon? How often do we sit in the cold winter hoping for spring? How often do we wish for rain on a hot dry day, or sunny skies when it’s raining? How often will we look at the “Christmas” products on the superstore shelves in September and daydream fondly of what it will be like when Santa comes? And how often to we wake up on the day after Christmas only to wade through an uncontrollable sadness at the realization that Christmas is now 364 days away?

I hear students complain about how dreadful their school is only to follow up their thought with one that sounds like this, “But when I get to __________________, all my problems will be over!”

__________________ could be graduation, valentines day, Christmas, my birthday, another person’s birthday, summer, July 4th, spring break, Junior Year, Senior year, college, graduation from college, a date, a girlfriend/boyfriend, next episode of a particular show, next movie/book in a series, a job, a job that pays more than this job, or maybe just tomorrow.  Each of these perceived “green grass” situations blind students to the value of today, and more often than not, when they arrive at these “promised lands” they pale in comparison to imagination, and leave them longing for either the place they were, or the next place they will go.

When we live in a fantasy world, we intentionally reject the reality that exists around us, and we engage in the active devaluation of any kind of concrete stimuli.  Furthermore we engage a world that has no real rules, nor does it produce any real product.  Thus, at any point, that lack of product can leave us wanting even more than we ached for in the past, and send us spinning toward more nothingness in the future.  Our hopes are dashed, our dreams shattered by the unparalleled ability that fantasy has to deceive us, and defile us. 

My work with addiction and those who struggle with addiction has led me to believe that a substance is not the only thing that can overtake and subdue a person.  Processes, and simple ideas can invade a person’s lifestyle and cause them to believe things that are not real, to engage in pursuits that will never satisfy, and to lay waste to people in their lives who dare to stand in the way of their pursuit of such garbage. 

Drug addicts are not that dissimilar with the rest of the American population.  They often pursue something that will not satisfy, whether that be Christmas or Cocaine.  They try to escape their current relationships through pornography or Gray’s Anatomy.  They constantly hope for a better job, or a better partner, or a better life. 

But why do students act this way?

Probably because many of them see adults acting in similar ways. 

Parents are not always the main culprits, but more often than not it is family that shapes our worldview.  They notice that their mom or dad complains about the job they have, or how sad it is that the school bought this, or didn’t buy that.  Or that the town has something they shouldn’t, or that it fails to provide something that it should.  Or maybe they complain about the president, governor, taxes, police or other political leadership.  Maybe they see their parents longing for the weekend only to be saddened by the fact that it was only two days. 

Perhaps discontentedness is the banner that flies in most of our houses.

When confronted with dissatisfaction in my own life, I have become aware of how many times I ran into a fantasy world, only to find that that world was everything I’d hoped for, but still couldn’t satisfy me because it wasn’t real.  Whether it was drugs, alcohol, pornography, or simply wanting a new job, the fantasy world promised everything, but failed to ever fulfill.  We must be aware that our satisfaction can ONLY come from our service to Jesus Christ.  That is the only world in which we can find real satisfaction.  Not in some “heavenly fantasy” that is perpetrated in so many pulpits today, nor in the fictional world of  “your best life now.”  The satisfaction that we long for is in the establishment of God’s Kingdom here and now.  We don’t work for heaven, nor do we wait for it.  We don’t work for our kingdom now, nor will we ever find it.  We work for God’s Kingdome come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Our world looking more and more like His heart. 

When we work for His glory, we will be satisfied in Him.  When we work for our glory, we will be left wanting.