There are lots of reasons to seek change.
Zig Ziglar asked the question, “Is there something you could do in the next 24 hours to make your life worse?” It was a back-handed way of making the point that our actions affect the outcome of our lives. We know we can screw it up even if we don’t always think we have the power to make it better. Our actions do matter and so when we perceive a situation that we do not like, we want to do something to change it. Sometimes we are successful, sometimes our plans never get out of the gate.
Regardless of the success or failure of our plan, we are still dissatisfied and blame the need for more change in that area or turn our attention to a new culprit, where we start yet another improvement plan. Whether it is weight, health, job, or relationships, we never seem to breathe easy. There is always one thing or another that demands change before we can be happy.
But what if the problem we see isn’t the problem at all?
This month I have set my goal to seek God’s guidance for the coming years. Part of the reason for my quest is that old nemesis dissatisfaction, “Am I doing enough?”
Sunday, God pointed out through Scripture that dissatisfaction and longing are the natural results of the fall and that even the rocks and rivers share my discontent. The shift I need is to recognize the true cause of all this misery:
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
It not just me. All of creation longs for its original order.
Understanding this makes a difference for me because it focuses my attention on my true hope—an eternity of perfection with Jesus—rather than on worrying about getting everything together in this life because that is never going to happen. This world is broken. The earth and all its inhabitants recognize that and groan for the day when all is set right.
The Good News Translation puts it that our hope is in the fact that God has promised to make us his children and to set our whole being free (Romans 8:23 GNT). It is by this hope we are saved. One of the things we are saved from is the frustration of believing that we can ever be fully satisfied or content this side of heaven.
This is not a free pass to sit down and quit, of course. We are charged by God to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it. There is plenty to do. Part of the curse is the never-ending task of beating back sin, death, and decay. Don’t be surprised about it. Don’t think it’s a failure your part. It is much bigger than you and me.
So, keep working, keep doing the things you see to make yourself and the world better, but know that it’s not about the size 2 hips, the promotion, the ideal relationship. Those things will never soothe the longing for perfection that is built into us. Just know that Perfection is coming, and his name is Jesus!