Impossible to Please
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Have you ever had a person in your life that no matter what you did, they never seemed to be satisfied? No matter how hard you tried, you could never please them?
Maybe you can remember when you were a child, asking a friend to play with you. Maybe you asked them to play hide and seek and they said, “No, that is too boring.” Or maybe you suggested a board game indoors, and they responded, “No, I don’t like board games.”
No matter what you suggested, you could not find something that pleased them.
For those of us who are “people pleasers,” this is a real problem. Relentlessly seeking to “please” other or “make them happy” will only cause us to be a trapped in a prison of other people's fickle opinions and desires.
Jesus speaks to the fickleness of human beings in today’s reading.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
He says that we, as a generation of humans, are like children who are never pleased.
When asked to dance to the flute, like at a wedding, we refuse to dance.
When Jesus offers His deep intimate love, we often dismiss Him.
We either think He doesn’t see or understand us. Or we think,
“I can do it on my own! I can go solo! I want to be in control.”
Dancing requires two—and Jesus wants to take the lead. He wants us to experience the joy of His intimate, abounding, eternal love.
When asked to lament—like at a funeral—we refuse to mourn.
Jesus calls us to stare repentantly at our selfish ambitions and foolish pride and see it for what it truly is - a decomposing corpse. He invites us to lament over our dead idols - our relentless search for significance, status, people pleasing, and cling to Him instead.
He is our only source of peace and hope. He promises to give us His peace that passes understanding.
How quickly we bend and sway to the fickle desires of our own foolish heart or to the voices of those around us who are unpredictable and frequently displeased.
Jesus did not bend to the will of capricious human beings who one moment flattered Him and the next minute criticized Him. He never fell prey to the need to prove Himself. Instead, He obediently and humbly went about His Father’s business, keeping His eyes fixed on His mission.
With YOU and I in mind, and all the world’s sin and brokenness at stake, He chose the JOY that was set before Him - which meant the suffering and shame of going to the cross for all of us!
“For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
Lord, where are you calling me to dance with You right here and now? Where can I release my self-reliant pride and allow You to lead me into the dance of an intimate love relationship with You? Where, Lord, are You asking me to mourn, to open the casket of my unrepentant heart and allow Your hope and peace to comfort and restore me?
Show me where I am clinging to dead idols. Fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit to release myself into Your loving hands. No other wisdom is as true as this: Jesus Christ came to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. Thanks be to You, Lord God! Hallelujah!