“Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.”
President Jimmy Carter has a deep spirituality. The quote above is as true today as it was when he first spoke it in 1979. The world still has a deep and unquenched spiritual hunger. Why?
I believe, as President Carter does, that our priorities are in the wrong places. Too many of us are striving for a better life through material things. However, new cars, bigger houses, the latest technical gadgets and closets full of clothes cannot fill the emptiness in one’s soul. So, what does fill the emptiness?
For me, natural beauty of any kind fills my heart and soul with joy. Music, religious as well as secular, art, and literature all touch something deep within me that often raises my spirits high. Truly connecting with friends and relatives, not simply touching base, but sharing intimate moments filled with laughter, caring and even tears, make my cup run over. However, it is my time alone with the Creator that most feeds my hunger.
Time alone is something we have sacrificed in lieu of the busyness of life. Trying to keep up with emails, Facebook, bills, commitments, all add to our lack of “you and me” time with the Source. Even our attempts at being with Spirit on the weekend are invaded by demands to have our minds elsewhere...preparing meals, teaching children, organizing...the list is endless.
If we are careful, however, we can glean a bit of soul food from the most unexpected places. Sometimes it can be found in the lines of a speech, or the comments of a friend. At other times, we can pick up a book or paper and read something that carries us through the day, the week, the year. Still other times, we can find ourselves completely satiated by the smile of a stranger or a hug from a child.
Spiritual hunger does not need to exist if we but open ourselves up to the possibilities for harvesting food for the soul in our daily lives. When we live in Creator’s presence daily, we come to life satisfied, willing to share the banquet with others.
Finally, gratitude is the greatest tool for lifting the spirit and filling the emptiness of the soul. Begin by being grateful for the little things and soon gratitude will become a way of life.
May we all find nourishment in spite of the world around us, may we each be grateful for the harvest, and may we share the joy of the Creator’s love with all those who travel life’s path with us. Namasté.