I’m Ken Jones, and this is A Classic State of Mind, with a Word about … Satisfaction.
ONE OF THE THINGS I got for my birthday this year was a really cool gadget that helps me stay organized. Among the packaging and materials included with that gadget was a guarantee. But it wasn’t just any guarantee. It was a Satisfaction Guaranteed guarantee. When I read those words, it made me pause and think.
Advertisers are constantly looking for new ways to convince me that their product will meet the deepest longings of my life. Stuff. Gadgets. Tools that will make life easier and more fulfilled. Many of these wonderful products include that phrase printed on the packaging, a phrase designed to make any red-blooded American stand up and cheer: Satisfaction Guaranteed!
How can they say that? They don’t know me personally. They don’t know my situation. And they certainly don’t know what satisfies me, so how can they guarantee my satisfaction? Better yet, perhaps, why would they want to guarantee my satisfaction?
I understand the obvious answer. One of the things that keeps manufacturers of “widgets” in business is satisfied customers. If I am satisfied with their product, I’ll go back and buy that same brand. If the manufacturer guarantees my satisfaction, then I can’t possibly go wrong.
But they can’t guarantee my satisfaction. Not really.
Even God doesn’t give a satisfaction guarantee. He created the most beautiful place to live anyone could image: the Universe. He filled it with jeweled furnishing –stars and seas and mountains and deserts. He painted landscapes that any art gallery would envy. He sculpted wonderful animals and fish in beautiful colors and textures and tones. He fashioned all forms of life, from gigantic leviathans to microscopic organisms. His attention to detail was impeccable. He provided lush, sumptuous morsels — fruits and vegetables to eat. He placed two people in the center of this paradise. And the best part about it was that everything was complimentary. No charge.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? Adam and Eve walked in the midst of paradise. They had their run of the place. They got to name every creature. They had all the food they could ever want. They never had to fight with their neighbors. Their wardrobe was always in style. Transportation was a cinch because they weren’t going anywhere.
They didn’t even have to go to church because church came to them. God walked with them and they could talk to Him face-to-face. Can you imagine?
But even with all of that, their satisfaction wasn’t guaranteed. There was only one tree on earth they could not partake of. One tree! All of creation wasn’t enough. Walking and talking with God wasn’t enough. Living in paradise wasn’t enough. They chose dissatisfaction.
I was just thinking. How am I doing at being satisfied? What satisfies me? Is it money No, because I always think i need just a little bit more. Is it material possession? No, because as soon as I get what I think I need, I start looking for a newer, faster, better model. I know that things don’t satisfy, but I sure spend a lot of time and money accumulating them. I’ve got a garage full of widgets.
No, what really satisfies me is the only thing that will satisfy any person: a vital, daily relationship with God, who fulfills my deepest longings. Nothing short of that will ever make me truly happy.
Ever wonder what God wanted to tell Adam and Eve that day He came looking for them in the Garden? The real tragedy is that if they hadn’t been out looking for one more thing to satisfy them, they could have experienced real satisfaction — I guarantee it. The Book says,
“Because Your love is better than life…
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise You.”