Blessed… Never Satisfied

“To what will I compare this generation? It is like a child sitting in the marketplaces calling out to others,  ‘We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance. We sang a funeral song and you didn’t mourn.’  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’  Yet the Human One came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved to be right by her works” (Matthew 11:16-19, Common English Bible).

I heard this story not long ago and thought I would share it with you today.

A beggar was standing on a street huddled with a group of friends friends. “I really wish I had a hundred dollars. If I had a hundred dollars in my hand right now I would never complain again” A businessman walking down the street heard  beggar and stopped. “Excuse me,” the man said. “Did I just hear you right? I thought I heard you say if you had a hundred dollars, you would never complain again?” The beggar replied, “Yes Sir, that’s what I said mister.” With that, the man pulled out his wallet and handed the beggar a hundred dollars, and said, “I’m pleased I could have a part in your dream come true.” After the businessman walked away, the beggar turned to his friends and said, “I wish I had asked for two hundred!”

For so many of us, we never satisfied. We aren’t satisfied by what we have because the problem inside each of us.

As I read our lesson for today my mind went to an old joke that made its way around a lot of circles. Well, it made its way around preacher circles anyway. It said, in essence, a church was searching for a new pastor. They wanted a pastor who was 36 years old and who had 40 years of experience. He would only want $400 per week but would give $100 back to the church and both pastor and family were always well dressed in current styles. I don’t remember much of the rest, but you get the idea.

Our lesson today is a lot like that. John the Baptist came, Jesus said, neither eating or drinking and people said he was a demon. Jesus, on the other hand , came eating and drinking and the same people wanted to know why he ate with tax collectors and sinners. It seems many of us can never be satisfied.

Perhaps it is time, well, really past time, for us to take a few minutes to sit and think about what it is we really want. Like the beggar above, often we are never satisfied with what we want and/or have. We think we know what we want and crave. When we get it, we want something more.

At my church we are currently studying John Ortberg’s book Soul Keeping. I think Ortberg would say we aren’t satisfied because we fail to take care of our souls. In the book Ortberg argues that the soul is very needy and all too often we neglect it.

As I have contemplated Ortberg’s book, the thought has occurred to me that we neglect the soul because we can’t meet the needs. We look for all kinds of ways to fulfill the needs of the soul, but they all fall short and we hunt yet again. The bad news here is, we will never succeed in giving the soul what it wants.

What the soul wants is not ours to give. The good news is, the one who has it to give, has it in infinite supply. God can and will meet the needs of the soul. Further, only God can meet the need anyway.

What are you using to meet the needs of your soul? I hope you know you will never be satisfied until you let God meet your needs.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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