In August 1965, the rock band The Rolling Stones released its single (I can’t get no) satisfaction’. The lyrics apparently refer to both sexual frustration and commercialism. So what exactly do human beings need to be satisfied?
In essence, we need three things to survive: food, shelter and warmth and to maintain a level of sanity, we probably also need company. But at what stage do these needs move from basic needs to wants?
The fact is, that as soon as we have what we need, we want more or we want better.
If we have food, we want more food, faster food, better food, organic food, processed food, sugary foods, non-fattening foods, healthy foods …
If we have shelter, a flat or a house, we want a bigger house, a better house, a house with a garden, a house in a better neighbourhood or near good schools …
And if we have warmth, we want central heating, solar panels, cheaper fuel bills and so the list goes on.
In fact whatever we have, we always seem to want more and that applies both to those who have little and those who have a great deal. The owner of Chelsea Football Club in London, Roman Abramovich apparently has a personal fortune of $13billion and owns at least three yachts and a private jet, yet he can only use one at a time!
As for company, well originally we were satisfied with families, and support from extended families. Then we lived in small groups, then villages, towns, cities and now megacities. Unsatisfied with one partner, we divorce and move onto the next. Not satisfied with one man one woman relationships, we indulge same sex relationships, polygamy and polyamory and relationships are often casual. The dawn of social media enables us to have cyber-friends all over the world and to communicate 24 hours a day with people we never meet.
Yet people are lonely and the suicide rate is ever increasing.
Are we ever satisfied?
Jesus said: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matt 4:4)
Fact is, that nothing we own, no material possessions, no friendships nothing will ever satisfy us in this world except our relationship with God. As we get older, our eyes dim, our hearing reduces, our skin ages and our organs decline. But as we lose our physical and mental faculties, we are being prepared to let go of everything and through death we will live forever in Christ.
So next time we are tempted by that glossy advert in a magazine, or on the television, stop and think. Will it really satisfy and if so, for how long – eternity? I doubt it.