The Dissatisfaction of Excess

My wife and I just returned from a vacation road trip to Las Vegas and Phoenix. One of her sisters and brother-in-law live outside of Phoenix, as does one of our nephews, thus our trip culminating with a sliding further south.

We had other friends from Michigan who had moved to the Las Vegas area about a year ago that we wanted to reunite with, as well as their daughter who used to be one of our kids’ babysitters. The rest of our time in Las Vegas was spent walking, walking, and walking. We strolled through The Bellagio and stared at the ceiling, The Venetian and watched the gondolas, and the shopping area at Wynn’s where you had to make an appointment to be able to enter and look at the extremely overpriced merchandise. Everything in Las Vegas is about excess and unnecessary. It whispers the possibility of obtaining what is outside a person’s personality and lifestyle.

And there lies the dilemma and the deception! The Las Vegas sale that lures the crowds is an image, a dream, of people bathing in the riches of their winnings and the depravity of their fallen nature. The truth that gets detoured around is that what is excessive never satisfies. It’s simply the next rippled ring in the splash of the new experience.

There is something about us that leads us toward decisions that have not been thought all the way through. What looks dazzling seems to demand our attention. There is also something about the way God created us that longs for a holy fullness, an intimacy with the divine. The world (and the Deceiver), however, continues to lead us in a bypass around our hunger for God and caused us to settle for the thirst of the unnecessary.

In Las Vegas we saw people who were on a constant search for something that would satisfy and they never found it. And they won’t! The brightness of the lights and hopes written on marquees however will keep them searching, longing, and wondering why happiness is so elusive.

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