The Grace of Dissatisfaction

The leech has two daughters,
“Give,” “Give.”
There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, “Enough”:

Sheol, and the barren womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “Enough.

Proverbs 30:15-16

I’ve often compared to myself to the leech’s daughters, especially when it comes to my theater. I always want more lights, more costumes, more sets, more props, more shows, more everything. Usually, due to the hard work of my staff and God’s blessings upon our endeavors, my vision comes to fruition. Experiencing the richness of your imaginations brought to life by the stage is very satisfying – and yet dissatisfying.  As much as I love Players of the Stage, it is never enough. I am always left longing for something more.

You know those people who are constantly complaining? Nothing is good enough for them. It doesn’t matter what you do. They are impossible to please. Most people would not call a discontented personality a good character trait, but I am finding myself praying for the grace of dissatisfaction.

A couple weeks ago I laid in bed, trying to take a nap, thinking about all the dreams that I had, projects I’m pursing and people that I loved. A heaviness in my soul prevented me from falling a sleep. Unable to find satisfaction with the blessings in my life, I wondered if maybe God was calling me to something else – a new project, a new job, anything that would give me a sense of worth and meaning.

But then it hit me – this weight of meaninglessness, which had been causing me pain and frustration, was grace, a blessing from God. How? For me, as painful as it is to wake up day after day and not find fulfillment in my job, in my marriage, in my dreams, in my looks, in whatever it is that I try to find my worth in, better that my soul is stirred to find wholeness in something more eternal.

I have the best job, and I have a fabulous husband, but both my marriage and my job will end one day. My dreams may never come into being, and no matter how I workout or how carefully I eat, one day I will have wrinkles. The only thing that can give me lasting and eternal satisfaction is Jesus and anything that causes me to pursue Him is a grace, even the pangs of dissatisfaction.

Since then I have prayed that God would continue to cause me to be dissatisfied with the things of this world, so that I will pursue Christ more. This doesn’t mean I’m looking to become a hermit. I don’t think I’d be a very good one. I am trying to stop looking to temporal things to give me what I most desire: meaning, a weight of glory, that only eternal things can give.

In my short time of striving to seek Christ above all else, I’ve found that the things I previously turned to for meaning are more enjoyable now. Without the need of finding affirmation in my job, I’m able to enjoy it more. Without the need to find my identity in my marriage, I’m able to relax and have fun with my husband.

I’m still trying to figure how satisfaction in Christ plays out in every day life, but I’m confident it doesn’t mean abstaining from the blessings and beauty of this earth. It’d be ungratefulness to despise the gifts that God gives us, but we abuse them when we look to them for fulfillment. Somewhere between those two extremes is a happy balance that I know I have yet to attain and probably never will. In the meantime, I continue to pray for dissatisfaction in the hopes that it will push me to Jesus.

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