308) Can’t Get No Satisfaction? (part two)

     I remember my parents often telling me to ‘just be satisfied.’  Anytime I got into a store there was no end to what I wanted, and I often had to be told to be quiet and be satisfied with what I had.  That’s an essential lesson for parents to teach their children, and I found myself saying the same thing to my children, and now to my grandchildren:  ‘Just be satisfied,’ I say.  In fact, one of the most important lessons in life is to learn that ‘you can’t get always get what you want…’


Hear and see the Rolling Stones (without their wrinkles) at:


I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man

Refrain…  You can’t always get what you want  (3x)

But if you try sometimes well you might find 

You get what you need

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse.”   Refrain…

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him,  Refrain…

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands   Refrain…

     This song was on a 1969 Stones album, but it never came out as a single and was never on the charts.  As time went, however, it became one of their best known songs, and is now #100 on Rolling Stones magazine’s top 500 Rock and Roll songs of all time.  Once again, there are a lot of incomprehensible words, but again, there is one unforgettable line with that very necessary lesson.

     It should be obvious that ‘you can’t always get what you want,’ but it seems many people grow up without ever learning that lesson.   And I don’t think any of us ever completely learn it, and we remain unsatisfied.   Think about all the troubles in the world that are caused because people ‘can’t always get what they want’ and are not satisfied.  Certainly, small children who are never satisfied can drive their parents crazy, but adults can cause each other all kinds of grief because they aren’t ever satisfied either.  Think of all the people who are in financial trouble now because of credit card debt.  They are not ever satisfied with what they have, but keep on buying and buying, adding burden upon burden.  Think of all the husbands who abandon their wives and children, leaving behind so much confusion and hardship and sadness, all because they are not satisfied at home and start looking for something else.  Think of all the wives and mothers that do the same thing, because they are not satisfied.  There are, of course, other reasons why marriages break up, but oftentimes it is simply because one or the other is not satisfied, and they should be.  Think of all the people who are not satisfied with life as it really is, and have to escape with drugs or alcohol into an artificially created satisfaction.  And there are all the people who are not satisfied with who they are or what they are as God made them, or, with what God has given them; and they are always looking with envy at other people who are smarter or prettier or luckier or wealthier or healthier or whatever.  They are not satisfied and spend a lot of time being bitter and resentful and mad at the world and at God.  Think of all the world leaders not satisfied with the power they have, but with cruelty to their own people or war against other nations, they seek to strengthen their hand or expand their influence.  Think of the unfathomable grief and misery that has brought and continues to bring upon humankind.  And think of your own private jealousies and envy and dissatisfaction, and all the discontent and unhappiness that brings to you, even though you know that you know better and should be counting your blessings.  One writer went so far as to say that most of the troubles in the world come from the simple fact that we are not ever satisfied, and in our bitterness or greed or grasping for more, we bring misery to ourselves and those around us.

     Jesus said that in heaven we will finally be satisfied (Luke 6:21, 23).  Not only will our bodies be made perfect so that we will no longer get ill or die or even age; and not only will our morals be healed in heaven, so that we will always do what is right and no longer be tempted to sin; but so also will our desires be cleansed and perfected, so that once and for all, we will be satisfied.  Content.  That will be a blessed state to be in, because now we are so often not content and not satisfied; but instead, we make ourselves miserable because  ‘we can’t always get what we want.’


Isaiah 55:2-3  —  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you…

Hebrews 13:5  —  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

 I Timothy 6:6-8  —  Godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 


Grant, O Father, that this day we may be doers of your Word, and not hearers only.

–Christopher Smart


‘Mr. Jimmy’ from Excelsior, Minnesota.  Is he the Mr. Jimmy in the song?  Mick Jagger says he isn’t, but Mr. Jimmy says he is.  Read the story/legend at: