What the Hell is Wrong With Me?

I recently discovered a musical artist named Sean McConnell. His album, A Horrible Beautiful Dream, has a song on it called, What the Hell is Wrong with Me? I discovered this painting by Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler at about the same time. The painting is titled The Disappointed Souls and the song and painting seemed to go together. Here are some of the song’s lyrics:

Guess I’ve always had a monster underneath my bed;

Every house is haunted when the ghost is in your head; 

I got everything I want and then some on the side;

And with all this satisfaction, I am so unsatisfied.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I’m a burden. I’m a basket case. I’m a sermon on the need for grace.

But I’m learning not to be my own worst enemy.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Is that, perhaps, what the “disappointed souls” are asking? What is wrong with me? Have you ever asked that question? Sometimes it feels as if we have all we need to be happy—health, house, car, a job, many blessings to count. Yet. Yet. We are so unsatisfied.

Perhaps that is because we are looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. We were meant for more than what this world can give. Perhaps our expectations are too high. Or, perhaps the opposite is true and our expectations are too low. Christian author C.S. Lewis says, “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Did you get that? “We are far too easily pleased.” What the world offers is nothing compared to the promises we have in Christ. No wonder we become disappointed souls looking for satisfaction in mud pies when we are invited to a holiday by the sea. The world is full of shiny glittery promises that, when grasped, turn out to be tarnished and temporary. God invites us to turn our eyes away from empty promises and false facades, and discover more than we ever hoped for in Christ.

Featured art: Ferdinand Hodler, The Disappointed Souls, 1892, The Guggenheim Museum

Featured song: Listen to the entire song, What the Hell is Wrong with Me? here.

“Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything’s free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest.”  -Isaiah 55:1-2 (The Message)