Have you ever noticed that we all have temptations, struggles, and obstacles that have to do with something pleasurable. For some it might have to do with food and drink (i.e excessive eating and drinking), others it might have to do with shopping (i.e buying things), for some pornography, smoking, and for some it might be relationships (dating, affairs, etc).
At the core of these pleasure seeking journeys is something good, that is what makes them so difficult to deal with at times. Food is good, wine is good, sex is good, being able to buy clothing and needed items is good, and sharing yourself with someone and loving someone is good. God created these things for us and are good for us. (Not implying that an affair is good.... it is not, but Love when applied in a holy way is good).
Where we stray at times is when we use them in excess; Too much food, wine, shopping, etc., is not good.
So why do we continue to do these things, or at least in excess at times, when we know that it is not good?
I have to think that we are all attracted to pleasure, and for us, unique as we are, there are certain things I think we strive after and toward in search for pleasure. We all want to feel good. The problem with this particular way of living life is that these pleasures do not satisfy, at least not for more than an instant or so. We could call them unsatisfied pleasures because as soon as we finish obtaining "it" we are desirous of more.
What does that tell us? It tells us that these things really don't fulfill us at all.
We find ourselves wanting to feel good, seeking pleasure, yet attempting to obtain something with tools and activities that only temporary satisfy. There is no wonder why we do some things in excess, we know they make us feel good, even if for a little while, yet they also leave us wanting more.
The other side of the problem is when you do certain things in excess, the thing itself might not be bad, but in excess it becomes bad (i.e Obesity, alcoholism, using others as Sexual Objects, etc.)
If we knew where to look for pleasure that would not be temporary wouldn't we seek to find it? Seems like a simple question doesn't it?
I have often pondered the thought that by having less we often have more. If the cycle of chasing after, obtaining, consuming only leads to: chasing after, obtaining, and consuming.... where is the gain?
But by breaking the self-consuming cycle, by decisively choosing to do without, can free oneself from the grasp and power of Unsatisfied Pleasures.
Think about it for a moment, if what you do over and over again really doesn't produce any sustained pleasure, why are we doing it? We should be searching for alternative methods and sources of pleasure that will leave us satiated and satisfied, shouldn't we.
So where do we turn for direction? Not the world.... the world is all about temporary pleasures. So if not the world, then where?
You guessed it, God.
If you are in search of happiness, sustained pleasure, breaking of old habits, there is a person and a place that will help...... It is God and Prayer. If we fill ourselves with Good and Holy things, then that void will not be driving us toward those things that only temporarily satisfies.....
Think about it, what are you filling yourself with?