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The Search for Satisfaction: Looking for Something New Under the Sun Paperback – May 1, 2006
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The author very nicely establishes a mental picture of how much time modern-day individuals waste on their computers doing daily "searches" while frequently coming up with nothing to show for their efforts. Day after day, writes McKinley, people "...boot up, log on, select an engine, and start a search" and walk away frustrated, disappointed and wishing they had a better plan. So it is with life, and the church is no exception. McKinley talks about those nettlesome "itches" that just cannot be scratched. When life becomes an endless, aimless quest for satisfaction, most people, he says, will become skeptical, cynical, fearful and doubtful. Not a pretty picture. So what is the answer?
McKinley warms to his topic by first demystifying the myths of a satisfied life. Using Solomon's "search engine," life travelers will discover similar dead ends. To begin, the search for "progress" has not resulted in peace; rather increased knowledge has increased vulnerability. Next, "excess" is at best a short-term, short-lived state of satisfaction. Third, the search for "success" or accomplishments alone results in achingly cavernous inner-spaces. Fourth, "possessions" leave people only wanting more. Finally, "impression" fails as well; while a good name is a "good thing," it isn't enough to satisfy the need for significance. As far as Solomon was concerned, "No matches found" was the bottom line in his search for satisfaction.
Lest weary travelers be tempted to give up, McKinley urges Christians to stay at the task long enough to discover what Solomon eventually did figure out. There is reason to live and it is most simply found when "...we acknowledge our Creator and our desperate need of a relationship with Him." As believers, make God their focal point instead of subscribing to Solomon's ancient version of SPAM: sex, power, achievement and money; life becomes much more than an in-vain rush for personal actualization experienced at any and every level. McKinley tells men and women to develop their reasons for believing in God first and foremost, then grab hold of the Bible for all its worth as the foundation for living with hope and purpose, and lastly, invest the only life given to each person by honoring God and "living beyond yourself."
--- Reviewed by Michele Howe
As McKinley knocks down the world's wisdom in comparison with God's truth, he also notes that many of the things that the world says are the central aspects of life are, indeed, important...just not of central importance as compared to a person's standing and relationship with God. But friends, family, food, hard work, and just the enjoyment of each day take on a whole new meaning when given a proper perspective and a proper purpose to a servant of the Lord. McKinley avoids the pitfall of stating that this fallen world is evil; to the contrary, this world was created by God and is being redeemed by Him through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ and the saints who have been called to serve as His ambassadors. So, each day, each life, each activity carries meaning and significance in the life of a follower of Christ and McKinley reminds the believer to live life in such a manner as to be worthy of our calling.
In my opinion, the primary audience for this book is either a person who is not a believer, but is looking for purpose and meaning in life, or the proverbial "carnal" Christian who is far too comfortable with the world and is seeking affirmation from others instead of God. The book is short, easy-to-read and very contemporary with its language and examples - in addition, the examples are very personal as David draws much wisdom from his own experiences and shares many of his life lessons with the reader.
His comparison of our searches on search engines to Solomon's search provides clarity and application. This was a powerful book in my life...pick up a copy of it today!