October has begun, and with it we hope to be the joyful recipients of some cooler weather and a little rain. It would be nice to have a reprieve from what has been a sweltering and very dry summer.
Refreshing temperatures. Rejuvenating rain. Such a hope and dream!
When will such a desire be fulfilled? Weather forecasters may offer some pretty good educated guesses. But in truth, only God knows.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what the weather is, there is often a wish for something different? In the summer, we complain about the heat and wish for cooler days. In the winter, we complain about the cooler temperatures we wished for in the summer and long for warmer weather.
It sometimes seems that contentment is a fleeting state. Part of the reason for this is the fact that we live in a society that is changing at an alarming rate. There seems to be an air of discontent no matter the topic.
If something doesn’t meet “my” expectations, it is wrong and needs to be thrown out. If you don’t agree with “me” you are wrong and you are now my enemy. If you don’t like “my” political candidate or ideology, you are as dumb as a rock. If you don’t believe like “I” do, you are going to hell.
There is a burgeoning trend toward isolationism. Stores and shops are closing because they are becoming “irrelevant.” People now shop online. It’s easier and takes much less time.
Libraries are closing because they are becoming “irrelevant.” People now read books online, can download movies, can look up any topic through the internet.
Churches are closing every day because people believe religion is becoming “irrelevant.” People observe judgmental and greedy behavior in some churches or church leaders and condemn all.
In my humble opinion, what people are actually seeking is stability in their lives. They are looking for fulfillment. They are craving happiness. But they want it right now, handed to them, with no glitches involved.
What most don’t realize is the upheaval, the unrealistic expectations, the move toward isolationism is a symptom of a deeper need – a need that many are unable to recognize.
That need is coming from their God–given soul which is longing to be fed and strongly united with God. While our human nature longs for food, shelter, and clothing, our soul longs to be nourished and strongly connected with God in a conscious way.
In my next column, I will share with you how real fulfillment can be found.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.