Recently I’ve been finding myself less and less satisfied with the things I own, the clothes I wear, the phone I have, and ultimately, the life I live.
I’m not gonna lie, I do fall under the stereotype that most college students are labeled by… “The Broke College Student.” I guess I never realized how real of a generalization that was until I became that person. It’s weird, because when I’m in college and struggling financially I don’t really mind it all too much. It doesn’t seem to really define or bother me, it just means that I have to make the daily decision to not splurge on $5 lattes (which, let me tell you is a pretty tough decision). But, when I fly home for breaks, it seems that being broke and having no money is all I can think about.
“What if I didn’t go to college? I would probably have so much money saved by now.”
“Why can everyone else afford to go out multiple times a week and eat wherever they want?”
“How come I have to live the more frugal life while my friends are making money and getting all of the newest, coolest things?”.
The thoughts of not having enough and not being satisfied seemed to consume me. And it hasn’t been until recently that I realized this thought pattern I’ve had has been such a struggle within me, because we live in a consumer nation…a consumer world, if we’re being honest, and it’s seems that I had let it swallow me whole.
We live in such a day and age that we are expected to have the newest, trendiest clothes. We are expected to have the biggest, fastest phones. The sexiest cars, the most luxurious mansions… and because of this, we have become consumers. It has become our second nature. But it seems that the more we buy and the more that we’re exposed to, the less satisfied and happy we are. Yet we continue to buy and buy…and buy.
But I think that as a society, we have stopped thinking about the “why” and instead, we just do. We don’t think about why we do things, or why we believe things, or why we react in a certain way. We don’t think about why we need the trendiest pair of jeans, or the newer phone, or more money. We have cut ourselves off from understanding. Instead, we subconsciously push those deep thoughts and provoking questions away, and continue to let ourselves dig deeper into dissatisfaction. But once every so often, when we’re so exhausted from the lack of opportunity to rest, be thankful, and just live our lives, we seem to ask ourselves the question we’ve been dreading to be confronted with.
“Why am I not satisfied?”
And although sometimes it seems silly that the answer always comes back to Jesus, it truly always does come back to Him.
It comes back down to Jesus because we were not created to be satisfied by anything or anyone other than Him. All of the things that we get caught up with in this world…they’re temporary. We were uniquely designed to need and only need God. Material possessions won’t satisfy us. The amount of money we have in our bank accounts won’t make or keep us happy. The kind of clothes we own won’t complete us. Matter of fact, nothing in this world will complete us because only God was created to complete us. With God, we are whole, complete, and not lacking anything. When I came to this realization (while watching the ‘Minimalism’ documentary on Netflix that you need to go watch ASAP), this truth seemed to spark a fire in me… a fire defined by passion for more of Jesus. A fire to not let the world transform me into someone who follows the trends and heights of society. A fire to pursue and seek Jesus, because I can and will only be filled by Him. A fire to tell the world that everything on this earth apart from Jesus, is a temporary satisfaction.
I don’t want people to continue being consumers, expecting that the things they buy will bring them satisfaction and fill a void that seems to be pervading more and more every day. I don’t want people to become depressed, empty, broke, and in debt because they believe that the things of this world will fill and satisfy them. I want you all to know that Jesus is the only true satisfier that we will ever meet or come across.
My friends, I love getting new makeup, a new pair of Nikes (can I get an Amen), and new clothes just as much as the next person. But, we cannot let ourselves be trapped and suffocated by the trends and expectations of society; we are not of this world, nor will we ever be satisfied by it. Choose to not be satisfied by this world, choose to say “I am not satisfied,” and instead seek the everlasting satisfaction of a relationship with Jesus.
words and photo by Shannon Dunn