“The Secret of Satisfaction”
The comedy film “Cool Running” is about the first Jamaican bobsled team to go to the Olympics. The late actor John Candy plays a former American gold medalist who coaches the team. The Jamaicans affectionately dub the overweight coach “sled-god.”
Later in the story, the coach’s dark history comes out. In the Olympic games following his gold medal performance, the coach got caught cheating. He broke the rules by “weighting” the U.S. sled. He was disqualified, bringing disgrace on himself, his team-mates, and his country. The Jamaican bob-sledders could not see why anyone who had already won a gold medal would cheat. One of them hesitantly asked the coach about it.
“I had to win,” he explained. “But I learned something. If you are not happy without a gold medal, you won’t be happy with it either.” (emphasis mine)
That’s the Scriptural viewpoint exactly! If you are not content with who you are, you will not be satisfied with what you have. St. Paul says, “… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances … I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation …” [Philippians 4:11-12]. He did not always know that – he “learned” it by the grace and mercy of God as he grew in his faith and love for the Lord – as he depended on his good and gracious God to provide for him in all circumstances and needs!
Contentment is a by-product of faith in God through Jesus our Savior, a simple confidence that He knows what we need, when we need it, and in what measures. If you know who you are: created, redeemed and made holy by God, infinitely loved and cared for, you are not impressed by things, either many things or few. But without faith in God, fear creeps into our lives. We try to accumulate more and more “stuff” to prove we have nothing to be afraid of in this life. Like the bobsled coach, we start cutting corners and end up defining ourselves by what we have, instead of who we are! And ultimately we are cheated, “for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out!”
Over so many ruined lives and broken homes the sad words are spoken like an epitaph: “Yes, but they had everything …”
“Things” – stuff – can never substitute for the Spirit! “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things which he possesses,” Jesus says. In the quiet faith of our souls we discover the great secret of satisfaction: the best things in life are not things, or stuff!!
Join with your congregational family tonight (November 25th) as we gather in worship to celebrate God’s overwhelming goodness to us – as we “sing to the Lord a new song!” Our THANKSGIVING EVE SERVICE begins at 7:00 PM, followed by a Fellowship Reception. Please bring a favorite Thanksgiving “goodie” to share!