I went to Chicago this past weekend and had some of the most delicious barbecue I’ve had in a llllloooooonnnnnnggggggg time. Growing up as my father’s daughter, that’s saying something, because that man can GRILL. Also, growing up in the MidWest, barbecue is a big deal.
I ate a pork plate with fries and bread and coleslaw alongside my friend and was filled to the brim. Metaphorically, that is. I don’t really have a brim, since I’m a human.
I was stuffed. I was satisfied. Fulfilled.
Then I woke up the next day.
I was hungry all over again. My fulfillment had subsided. I was pretty empty as far as calories go.
And my stomach is not the only thing that happens to.
So many times I am fulfilled by a coffee date with a friend, dinner out with the ladies, a trip to my favorite city, a tweet from one of my favorite actresses (it should be noted that I’m still on an adrenaline high from that, and yes, that was a shameless plug for myself).
I am on a mountaintop of emotion, so full of joy and happiness and all the good things one can feel.
I am completely satisfied by the circumstances of my life.
And then I wake up the next day.
Or I have a minor argument with a friend.
Or I see an ex and am immediately reminded that my life is not what I thought it would be by age 26.
My fulfillment is oh so temporary, and it is so easily replaced by emptiness when I allow external people/places/things to be the source of my satisfaction.
I’m like the people Jesus talks about in John 4 that drink of water that will cause me to thirst again. Instead of drinking of the water that Jesus gives me – the water that will become in me a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)
Instead of seeking a deep drink from the Living Water that is Jesus, I am content with sipping from dry wells that the world has to offer.
And I wonder why I’m on such an emotional rollercoaster 83% of the time.
My head and my heart know so well that nothing of this world can satisfy in the deep way that Christ can. Yet, the things that we often seek for fulfillment are not bad things – relationships, food, shelter, work. The trouble is when those things become my god. When I rely on my friends to fulfill me, I am left empty, because guess what, they are just a bunch of sinners too. When I go to food for satisfaction, I end up gluttonous and desiring the created thing over the Creator.
May my fulfillment come from Christ alone. May I be able to say along with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on each that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73: 25-26)