It was May 1965 when the inimitable Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones first penned the words, “I can’t get no satisfaction … and I try and I try and I try. I can’t get no satisfaction.”
It was an instant hit. Some 35 years later, in May 2000, Britney Spears resurrected the song, an all-time top 100 rock hit.
I find it intriguing that such a vacuous song found such a receptive audience. Perhaps it is because it is the echoing cry of all who have not found true fellowship with the Father. Twenty-nine times in the book of Ecclesiastes the word “vanity” is mentioned.
When Solomon looks back on his life, he sadly testifies that it was all empty. Perhaps he, too, could have sung, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”
But that is what is so intrinsically sad. Solomon should have known better. His father, King David, wrote, “You (God) will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Had Solomon, the wisest man on earth, forgotten whence true joy and pleasure emanate? Or had he, like so many of us, succumbed to the delusion that there is something better than intimacy with God? We don’t know; but somewhere along the way, Solomon journeyed off course.
I anticipate that if the wisest man who ever lived fell prey to the lie that satisfaction is found outside the Father, we might be vulnerable to this delusion as well.
Sadly, many who claim the name of Christ are internally miserable. Perhaps they assume it is their circumstances that make them so. If the circumstances would change, they’d find satisfaction. Or so the logic goes.
But the reality is, true satisfaction is not found in a prized possession, the embrace of another, or any other imagined scenario. Fullness of joy and true pleasure are found exclusively in the Father, through the blood of Jesus Christ, and the control of the Holy Spirit.
So maybe you need to change the lyrics swashing around in your mind. Perhaps the song of your heart could sound forth the words of one who has found true satisfaction and life abundant (John 10:10b).
THE REV. KEVIN STEELE IS THE PASTOR OF NATIONAL HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH IN AUGUSTA.