“We never really have enough; do we? Everyone always wants something more…” Those are the words I heard come from behind the counter at a Five Guys hamburger joint late one evening. This eons-old sentiment came from an aging man, probably in his late 40s or early 50s. With a decent smile for 9:55pm, he told me he had been up since three o’clock in the morning and was ready to hit the sack.
“But,” he said, “That’s what ya gotta do, when the economy’s down and you always want more.” This hamburger flipping expert then went on to tell me that he works two jobs seven days a week, with zero break in between – just several hours of sleep – and then it’s back to work again. “Wow,” I said, “I remember what’s its like to work two or three jobs – as I did when I was working on my master’s degree, but somehow I managed to get a solid night’s rest. Your schedule sounds brutal!”
And that’s when he said it. That longing deep within every human soul – “Well, we are never really happy with what we’ve got – it never seems to be enough.”
As I stood there stunned by this brilliant summation of the human condition, I thought to myself, “Man, I wish most two-timing church-goers would be this honest.” What really arrested my attention is what he didn’t say. He didn’t say, “Well, I’m trying to provide for my family” or “Hey man, I’m just trying to pay the bills and bring home the bacon.” No. He said, “We are never happy with what we’ve got…we always want something more.”
As he scanned my face for a response, I asked, “Yeah…why is that? Why do we always want something more? Why does what we have never seem to be enough?” The man shrugged his shoulders and remarked, “I dunno.” “Yeah,” I thought out loud, “it’s like we were built for something more – something beyond what this life offers.”
Just then we both noticed the storm kicking up outside (and I remembered my family waiting for me in the van and the rapidly cooling fresh hamburgers in my hand). So with a quick goodbye and a smile he headed back to the griddle and I headed out into the rain. But I couldn’t shake the thought that we seem to be built for something more.
When this life – with all its appeasements and entertainment – never seems to be enough, such is the moment when we realize there must be something more… something more to live for and hope for.
I am reminded of Augustine’s grand confession about this inherent part of the human condition: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” (From Augustine’s Confessions, Lib. 1,1-2, 2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5)
This longing for real, lasting satisfaction and rest in God is what drove the apostle Paul to shout out, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain! (Philippians 1:21)” He had found what every person longs for. Jesus wasn’t just an end to living a better, easier life. No! He is the end – the end to all our searching, hoping, and striving. Jesus is the end in Himself. Paul was so jazzed about the Gospel of Christ and the mission of Christ that it infused every part of His being. If everything else was ripped from his life on earth, Paul knew Christ was and ever will be enough. He is more than a thousand ecstasies, more than myriad happy moments, more than all the pleasures the world can offer. Jesus is the end to never enough. Jesus alone is enough.
To the fledging church in Colossae, Paul encouraged them to center their hope and life on Jesus Christ:
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with Him.” (Colossians 3:3-4; italics for emphasis)
Only in Jesus is true and abundant life found. Only in Jesus can life be lived as it was meant to be. And one day when Jesus Christ returns we will then live on a remade earth in resurrected bodies, in the same manner in which Jesus was resurrected. Wow. Those are huge concepts to wrap my mind around.
Yet I believe, in my finiteness, that this is what we were ultimately made for – we were made for something more. We were designed to live in community and relationship with God and His people. And the void everyone is trying to fill with the glimmering yet fading things of this age only proves we long for something only our Creator can provide. It is as if all creation is pointing toward God’s offer of new life in Christ (see Rom. 8:18-25). Yes, it is.
Unfortunately, my conversation at Five Guys restaurant had to come to an abrupt end. But perhaps my hamburger-flipping friend will think about the life-altering idea he raised. Maybe my question will spark a search into the meaning of life. And perhaps, just maybe, I’ll see him again and have the chance to offer the message of hope that puts an end to thenever enough cycle. You just never know. After all, I do like Five Guys.
Did you hear the longing for something more today… in a co-worker, friend, or relative? How did you respond? I’d love to hear about!
In Christ Alone,