What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
Ecclesiastes 1:3 (The Message)
I recently read an article entitled The Top 10 Things People Want in Life but Can’t Seem to Get. I was amazed in reading the responses to this informal survey that probed a number of “critical life and career questions.” This further piqued my curiosity leading me to find other “lists” of how individuals might feel about their current lives.
As I read the various articles, the words “desperately seeking” came to mind. Therein was the birthing of this new series entitled, Desperately Seeking. During this series, I’ll be using three (3) lenses to examine the real issues behind our desperate search for the things we feel will make our lives better. They include: (1) the current situation, (2) the worldview, and (3) God’s view. As you follow with me, it is my hope that you will better understand God’s plan for your life and be able to quickly extinguish any desperation you might currently be experiencing. Let me begin by sharing the current situation.
Desperation is defined as a state of despair or distress, typically one that results in rash or extreme behavior—even reckless or dangerous. Desperation is sometimes described as hopelessness. How would you describe the world today? You need only look at your phone, notebook, or other source of information to experience the alarming state of our world.
As we view the larger global issues of this nation and world, it is evident that the current political, social, and financial climate cannot be resolved through traditional methods or approaches. Our hope that technology would offer the panacea to all our problems is daily being dashed as it presents its own set of “new problems” in the form of ethical dilemmas, moral failures, and social shortfalls. Tricia McCary Rhodes in her book, The Wired Soul, captures this feeling of distress.
I am not personally prone to panic attacks, but these days there are moments when I find myself out of sorts, almost as if I can’t quite catch my breath. I don’t think I’m alone in this. People of all ages seem terminally distracted, perpetually hurried, and often harried. It is rare for an answer to the question “how are you?” not to include the word busy and elicit some degree of angst. Collectively it feels as if we are losing something important in the name of progress, as if life itself is slipping through our fingers.
But the real challenge of desperation comes, not only globally, but “up close and personal”. It comes as individuals look in the mirror and ask, “What about those things that I want in life but can’t seem to get?” From my reading, I compiled (in their order of importance) the top five (5) areas people are feeling desperate about: happiness, money, freedom, peace, and joy. I’ve included a sixth, since it seems the focus of many Millennials and Gen xers—balance.
Examination of this list resulted in the following observations. What’s surprising are the things missing from the list.
1) The list contains more intangibles that tangibles (money). Why?
2) The list is more subjective (what I can feel) than objective. Why?
3) The list focuses on “internal” versus “external”. Why?
What can be said about a “life lived desperately seeking”? Why are we desperate? What’s missing in our lives and why can’t we get it? Join us as we “desperately seek” answers to these and other questions. Please share this devotional with your friends who might be feeling desperate. Feel free to share your thoughts on this new series in the “Comments Box” at the bottom of this page.