I recently ate at an Italian restaurant and they had a cute sign up, it said the trouble with Italian food is that you eat it and 3 or 4 days later you’re hungry again. After laughing about it I was struck by how that sign could be used to reflect on life in general. One of the things many people suffer from today is dissatisfaction with their lives. Somehow nothing much seems to make us happy for very long. We try this and we try that; we pick up this hobby and drop it before we really master it; we buy this toy or that suit or that dress and then after a while they just seem old to us; we start a career only to find it doesn’t seem to be what we thought it would; even our personal relationships too often seem less than we think they ought to be, so we move on to the next one always believing the best grass is just over the fence. But it never quite seems to be. America is full of restless, dissatisfied and unhappy people. And this sense of vague discontent is spreading as the changes in our society come ever faster and we are told by countless commercials and pundits that we have to get on the rocket to somewhere lest we be left behind.
It is unfortunate that so many folks we see everyday of our lives cannot be content. The lack of contentment is like a disease that erodes our mental and spiritual health. St. Paul spoke of himself as he addressed this issue. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound.” Paul led a life of up and downs, great successes followed by disheartening failures, true friends and people who abandoned him. Yet he could say he was content. Why could he say this? Well a few sentences after the last quotation he writes, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Paul could be content however he found himself because he had the strength of God to see him through the hard times and help him rejoice in the good times. He could be content because he wasn’t, as the old country song put it, looking for love in all the wrong places.
That, you see, is our trouble, we are always trying to find peace and contentment somewhere other than in the presence of Jesus Christ–and it isn’t there, wherever there might be. You and I, we were made for God and our hearts are always going to be restless until they rest in Him. Unless Jesus is your Rock and your Salvation you’re always going to be hungry again 3 or 4 days later. People have the idea they can do very well without God or without His Church, but all the evidence is to the contrary. So if you ever wonder why you can’t seem to go very long without getting “hungry” for something new, well, you’re just not seeking the right thing. True freedom, true happiness, is only found in Jesus.