Monday, July 27, 2009

Are You Lookin' for Satisfaction?

Salvation + Surrender + Attitude adjustment = Satisfaction!!!

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with your life? To be on the positive side of satisfaction you need to feel like at least 60 percent of everything in general is going your way. You can break that down to your personal life, your professional life, your social life, and your religious life. If any one of those is causing you more than 40 percent trouble – it isn’t going well.

A recent article in the Sun-Sentinel has this quote.

"Clergy ranked tops in both job satisfaction and general happiness, according to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching and protecting others and creative pursuits," said Tom W. Smith, director of NORC's General Social Survey, a poll supported by the National Science Foundation.

The worker satisfaction study, set for release Tuesday, is based on data collected since 1988 on more than 27,500 randomly selected people.

For the most satisfied workers, intrinsic rewards are key, the study suggests.”

What do the clergy have that the other jobs don’t have? They have ‘A CALLING” from God. Clergy are not most satisfied because they are clergy – they are most happy because they believe God has called them to a purpose, and they are fulfilling their destiny – or they are doing that for which they were created.

But there is a great deal more to the story of ‘A Calling From God’. Years ago my grandmother told me that when she went to ‘teaching school’ at the age of seventeen – the preacher in charge of preparing the students to teach school spent one week of the six weeks course stressing that if you were not there at the express calling of God, that you should go home. He said a ‘teacher is called to teach, just as a preacher is called to preach’. Grandma said a number of students went home after considerable counseling. Grandma stayed for the full six weeks course, got her teaching certificate, and went on to teach the next three years in a one room school house. She said she knew in advance that she was called to teach, and was surprised that some people had come without knowing they were called in the first place.; or that they are doing a specific job or task on the way to doing something else.

So now we have preaching and teaching as callings from God. However, I believe every human being is called by God to do many things. The greatest level of satisfaction (and success) will always be found in doing something that God has called you to do.

The first thing the individual is called to do is to be saved. This gains adoption into the family of God and eternal life in heaven with God.

The next thing the individual is called to do is to surrender his or her life totally to God. Two things can make this difficult.

First – the calling to surrender can be mistaken for a calling into full time ministry. That is not the first thing God will call you to do. First surrender to what ever God asks of you – then you get details.

The second difficulty arises when people think that they don’t want to surrender their life to God because He will ask them to give up everything they love and give them some horrible job they will hate. God created you to do specific good things. It is built into your heart. God will not call you to do anything outside the boundaries He has set as acceptable behavior. Don’t speculate in advance that God will ask you to do something you really don’t like doing. He put in you the good things He wants you to do – so chances are you already love doing some of the things God will ask you to do.

The article listed as the top five professions providing the most satisfaction for the people involved.


physical therapists,


education administrators,

and painters and sculptors

Listed as the five most dissatisfying careers were



laborers (not construction),


and hand packers/packagers.

This information will be analyzed, and some obvious conclusions will be made.

‘More educated people are more likely to have a higher level of job satisfaction.”

“Artistic and creative endeavors are more satisfying than menial labor.”

“Exciting and dangerous jobs (such as firefighting) provide more satisfaction than ‘safe’ jobs.

“Administrative jobs provide a higher level of satisfaction than merely following orders.”

But I think these conclusions are wrong. I think the difference is that the jobs like clergy and educator are more likely jobs that someone feels a calling to do. Maybe it’s just a ‘gut feeling’ for some – a ‘this is what I’m supposed to do’ feeling. The wise person will spend time talking it over with God – and not rely on ‘just a feeling’.

I believe that someone can be very satisfied with any job so long as they are convinced that God Himself has called him or her to do that job. That is why preachers and missionaries are so satisfied. If they took the time to be certain that God called them into the ministry, they have the fortitude to face difficult times and disappointments. When you see someone in the ministry struggling with what they are doing – it may well be that they made the first mistake mentioned above. When God called them to surrender to His will above their own will, they assumed God was calling them into the ministry. If you are seeking what to do in your life, be careful. Surrender everything to God, and THEN see what He calls you to do.

So – the situation is this. IF God had a purpose for putting someone in one of the jobs that the study says provide the least satisfaction – God would give His laborer satisfaction in that job. A roofer doing what God has called him to do is going to be satisfied with his work. A clergyman who is not satisfied has probably misunderstood exactly what God was calling him to do in the first place. Keep in mind that if you are currently doing what some would call a ‘lowly’ job, it may very well be just a stopping place. You still need to do the job heartily as to the Lord. He has better things for you just like He had for Josepeh.

The solution to personal satisfaction is simply this – ask God ‘WHAT ARE YOU CALLING ME TO DO? Now – God may call you to do something great – but He will probably not start you out at the top. David was called to be king – but he still had to do his duty as a shepherd! Don’t be impatient and lose the satisfaction in your life today.

People tend to think that God only calls people into positions like clergy, teachers, political leaders, and important positions. Truthfully, God calls people into everything. My husband was called to be a mechanic. Does that sound unimportant to you? It happens to be a very important job. It is also a very difficult job requiring endless training and practice to stay at the top of the field. At 65 Jerry is still at the top of his field. He is also a star in a number of ‘hands on activities’ as well. Actually, I think he could have chosen a number of careers that would have suited him – carpentry, electrical, master woodcraftsman, even glass art – but the opportunity was in auto mechanics. So the rest of the things he is good at were relegated to ‘hobby’ and ‘helpful to know how to do’. But ‘opportunity’ was how God directed Jerry. That is one of the main ways he directs people in exactly what He wants them to do.

Another way God directs people into a satisfying career and life is through circumstances and events. A quick study of the life of Joseph gives us someone who surrendered to the will of God early in life. Joseph knew God had something special for him, but he went through great trials before he was acclaimed as ‘great’ to the general public. Joseph was always ‘great’ to God, because Joseph surrendered his life to God early on. Then God took Joseph through his ‘years as a slave’, and ‘then his years as a jail bird’. Joseph actually prospered – even in prison. He knew God was with him. He was called to do God’s will. He did God’s will even in prison. Joseph’s level of satisfaction with even his ‘prison job’ was probably much greater than some of the most wealthy and influential people of his time, because Joseph knew that God was with him –even in prison. I think Joseph also knew that God was taking him somewhere beyond prison - eventually.

Where are you standing today in your level of personal satisfaction? Have you ‘arrived’ at your ‘destiny’? Are you still on your way to the top? Are you still struggling to even get a clue what God wants of you? Do you want the highest possible level of satisfaction in your life? It all begins with ‘surrender’. Surrender your will to God’s before you know what He is going to ask of you. God loves you. He wants good things for you. Whatever He has for you will bring good things. God will be with you through the hard things.

A final item for surrender to God is your ATTITUDE. You can do everything right outwardly, but if your attitude is not right, then nothing will be right. Your personal level of satisfaction depends on this. God has a very satisfying life for you. If Joseph had spent his time in Egypt with a ‘poor me’ or ‘I’m doing what I’m supposed to do – but you can’t make me like it’ attitude – I don’t think he would have ever risen to be ruler of Egypt.

So this is the equation we have come up with….

Salvation + Surrender + Attitude adjustment = Satisfaction!!!

Of course – the more complete the surrender of your heart is to God, the better your attitude will be, and the closer you will be to God. The closer to God – the greater your level of satisfaction will be.

The song for this article is: “Be Thou My Vision”.

The tune is a little difficult – but worth the effort to put the tune and words together. It is an old Irish song and tune.

“Be Thou My Vision”

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r:
Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.