What Does Your Soul Crave?
It’s hard to define the things inside my heart. I wonder if I’m the only one who feels what I feel and wants what I want. Am I the same as others in this mass of humanity, or am I alone in my experiences?
Maybe you sometimes feel the same way.
In high school, I had a vague notion that when I graduated I would take off for a couple days, go somewhere in the wild, set up a tent, and spend three days with myself. My hope was that at the end of the time, with nothing but myself and some food, I would have a better idea of who I am and what I want, and where to head with my life.
It’s six years later, and I would still like a getaway like that. Even to myself, I’m a mystery.
Some themes in life are reoccurring. In many different ways, different places and different voices, human desires are articulated.
It seems that these are integral parts of the human make-up, but why? What makes us long for these things?
Given all the problems love can create, why do we keep longing for it? How many thousands of years will it take for us to learn? How many Romeos and Juliets need to lie dead on the floor before we’re willing to give up this perverse addiction? Oh, I know they weren’t real, but then again, is love? If evolution is our preferred understanding of the human story, why can’t we evolve ourselves out of this primal Achilles’ heel we know as love? And don’t give me this thing about the propagation of the species. Love isn’t necessary for reproduction – just sex is. All you need is attraction, not emotion…If intimacy is only about attraction, we could just keep lust and dispense with love. But it just won’t go away. – Erwin McManus
When I first read this, I stopped and went through it again. And then a third time. Yeah. Why do we crave love? Why do I want to be known so deeply, to know someone and trust them and be trustworthy?
It is not enough for me to be kind of cool, or for me to have had a moment or two of meaningful connection. I want it to go on. I stress over relational disharmony, I crave connection – not just a physical connection, but a deep emotional bond of being known and being wanted.
All of us long to become something more than we are. We are driven to achieve, moved to accomplish, fueled by ambition. It burns hotter in some than in others, but it is within all of us. We’re all searching for our unique purpose, our divine destiny, or simply a sense of significance or some measure of success…all of us are united in our desperate attempt to make a future for ourselves. We all desperately want to achieve something, to accomplish something; we just don’t know what. Worse than that, we don’t even understand why. Yet that doesn’t stop us from searching. – Erwin McManus
It’s true, I think to myself. I do want to achieve. I don’t know what exactly, but something. I don’t want to sit here in anonymity for the rest of my life. But why? I could get by, I’m sure. Why wouldn’t that be enough?
Have you ever thought about this? What drives us to do, to accomplish? Why do we want to make the world a better place – for myself at least, if not for others? Where does our creative urge come from, and why are we not content to be spoon-fed for the rest of our lives?
This may be a jump for some, but Erwin and I both think it has to do with God. Not God who sits in a palace and points his lightning-trident at anyone he catches doing wrong, but God who loves us and created us with purpose and creativity. God who created us with the hope that we would do good and not harm.
Continue reading: Part 2: What’s God got to do with it?