God has blessed me in incredible ways and yet I struggle with dissatisfaction. Part of it is my personality. I am a spiritual entrepreneur. I want to create. To press on. To do new things. What has been done is not particularly satisfying. I look to improve. To grow. To conquer new frontiers.
Part of my struggle is being a product of our culture. Everything is instant. We are trained to be consumers, continually watching for the best deal. Always wanting more and better.
But a big part of my dissatisfaction is that I need to change. Matthew 5:6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied (ESV). When we are hungry for something besides righteousness, dissatisfaction will be the result.
Righteousness is first of all “do the right thing.” That has always been important to me. If anything, I tend to be overly critical of self in this area. At times, I don’t feel like I walk at a high enough level, but I am continually striving to do my best and to walk in righteousness.
So what is the issue? Right place. Our culture continually promotes higher, faster, better. We are led to believe that we should be accomplishing more. We should be in a better, more exotic place. That is one of the most significant issues as I work with addicts. Slow the time frame down. Those who try to get too far too fast lose. Those who walk out a reasonable growth process win.
Over the last several months, I have struggled with grief over stepping down as pastor of the church that I have served for 28 years. I held a position, a place of honor and influence. God has spoken and it is the right time for me to step down. It is time for another person to be in that place.
I believe that much of our dissatisfaction comes because of seeking of a place. Husbands want a better “place” in their family. Employees want a better place. Even customers want a better deal. We are all trained to want more.
As a pastor, there was a level of influence that I held that I enjoyed. God has designed a “place” for each one of us. For many, that place is not described as a position, but it is a unique role in a social circle. Many are not satisfied with the place God has given them.
Part of why I am stepping down as pastor is because I obeyed God in “place” several years ago. The Omega Project was at a pivotal point. It needed more leadership. I either needed to hand it off to someone else … or shut it down … or invest at a higher level. God spoke. I stepped into a role of serving a group of addicts. I took on a role that I didn’t necessarily want, but it was a place God had asked me to serve. In the end, I have been unbelievably blessed because of my obedience—because I accepted a place God had chosen for me.
Now God is asking me to let go of a place. We all have a tendency to want to be in a place that feels flattering to us. When we accept our place and serve others and obey God, we end up with the better outcomes than we could have ever imagined.
Do the right thing in the right place. Hunger to be where God wants you to be and you will be satisfied. When we know that we are
where God wants us to be, life is much better. I’m getting there—one surrender at a time!