Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dissatisfaction in America, Land of Plenty

I work in a locally owned supermarket. One thing I have often noticed is people seemingly wandering around the store, with a look on their faces that I interpret to represent wanting something, but having no idea what they want. I have thought they were a little like "lost souls," Lost in the sense that there is an urge moving them, an unsatisfied longing, that they think might be satisfied by some food.

And I find it ironic on this level of food, in that, we are one of the most prosperous nations in the world, wallowing in an overabundance of food, an abundance of dietary options, and yet we remain, many of us, unhealthy and unsatisfied.

Yet, we are unhealthy in body and in soul We don't recognize that the wanting is something far deeper than hunger for food. It is a longing for something that will truly satisfy, that will make us truly happy and fulfilled. It is the way we were created: to be hungry, to be longing for something that will answer all of our needs. Yet, so often having no real guidance in finding our hearts' desire, we wander about aimlessly, seeking the satifaction in all the "subgroups" of happiness and fulfillment, which are merely signs pointing the way to what can truly satisfy.

In the "Wizard of Oz" Dorothy said one of the lessons she had learned was that if she ever goes out searching again for her heart's desire, she wouldn't have to look any further than her own back yard. She meant, I believe, her family and friends: Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Hunk, Zeke and Hickory. And Toto too, of course, but then, she always had Toto with her.

Persons satisfy the soul far better than any other kind of pleasure, whether reading a book, eating a fine meal, or accomplishing some demanding task, but more satisfying than any human person, or earthly good, is God himself, the very essense of personhood. It is God we were created for, and it is God, ultimately, who will satisfy our souls. Nothing else can come close, and in fact, all else can only point the way to Him, if we open the eyes of our souls to the messages these things are sending us.