One day while I was at work I was driving down a busy street in Memphis, TN (I do that a lot...) when I noticed that I needed gas. I don't like stopping for gas often, and I sure my boss likes it less, because I can put $100 dollars in the truck, and still not fill it, only stop because that is where the pump shuts off, but that is a different story for a different day. This day, it was about mid-morning and I was in the mood for a little snack. Even though I really needed to pass on the snack, I decided that I had been working hard this week, so I would give myself a little treat, I thought, "Hey, I deserve it, right...?"
So I go in the store, and am looking around, when my eye is caught by this package, whose contents seem to be begging my enjoy their deliciousness. The culprits here, 6 tiny donuts covered in powdered sugar... You all may be laughing at my moment of weakness, but if you know me, then you know that donuts are high on the list of pastries that I love. Yes. Love.
I bought these donuts, and left. As I opened the package, I was pleased with this purchase, this was the purchase that was going to leave me content for the rest of the day, and it was only mid-morning. That's right, these donuts were the answer to questions I didn't even know I wanted to ask. Not only were they going to bring me contentment and leave me satisfied for the rest of the day, they would probably even bring me some happiness as a little added bonus. I know what you are thinking, that's an pretty big request for such a small package, but this group of six looked up to the challenge.
Minuets later, after I had finished the package off, it seemed that my demeanor was changing, and I noticed it almost immediately. I went from being ultra-excited to a state of pure disappointment. Shockingly, these little donuts did not fulfill any of the promises they made, sure I wasn't hungry for the moment, but I was later on. As I examined what was left of the package, powdered sugar tumbled out, and made a mess all over the place as well. Oh, and as I mention all of the sugar, it reminds me of the over-sugared feeling I then had to endure. So these donuts didn't just not fulfill my expectations, they also left me feeling worse.
I drove on, I know what you're thinking, "Oh Matt, how brave of you, I'm not sure how you did it!" Me neither, it was tough after such a let down, but I still had work to do. But as I drove, I thought about what had just happened, the emotions that I went through, and how I expected so much out of the 360 calories and 22 grams of fat that those donuts offered, but in reality, while the donuts had a sweet taste, their usefulness ended right there.
I realized that I, dare I say we even, do that all the time with our lives. So often, we are looking for our life's purpose, and we are looking to be full and satisfied in life, we are looking for happiness, and we are looking at life's powdered donuts... something that might bring us a moments worth of bliss, but not the lasting satisfaction and fulfillment we desire, that we long for, and that we are created for. Those powdered donuts can be anything too, work, relationships, hobbies... We are constantly searching for purpose, and constantly struggling when we have an idea, that is going to get us then, but fall painfully short of where it is we think we belong.
Getting more to the point here, stop where you are, take a look around and see what you are looking into to find purpose and meaning. Is it really meaningful? Is it good? Is it beneficial? Is it fleeting? Is it long-term? Is it eternal? I believe that we find our true purpose in Christ. However, the world is filled with powdered donuts to distract us and keep us from finding our true purpose.
*2nd NOTE: I am not saying that you should give up donuts, and I am not saying that I am not going to eat them anymore...