While I find great comfort in the familiar, there exists an undeniable thrill in seeking new experiences. But a new experience isn’t necessarily a better one, it is merely an escapade.
A new movie can sometimes feel like a waste of time. Dining at a new restaurant can feel like a waste of money if I know I can cook up something far more delectable at home. Traveling to an exotic place could mean more mosquito bites, abhorrent smells, and nauseating flavors rather than the peace and contentment seeking that was perhaps the initial impulse setting the momentum for the fantasized adventure. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word escapade finds its roots in “escaping from confinement or restraint.” We seek spiritual gratification by fulfilling physical longings and then we wonder about the despair that we feel and see all around us.
This cycle of hollow thrill seeking can be broken by finding authentic spirituality. Such spirituality has nothing to do with glitzy illustrations, trendy new-age beliefs or dogmatic religiosity. But authentic spirituality begins with seeking God’s kingdom – a kingdom of truth, love, fairness, and reconciliation. Jesus said that “the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke:17-21). It is a dynamic pursuit stemming from faith in God and a sense of personal responsibility. In Matthew 6, we are told that we find less reasons to worry when we seek first God’s kingdom. Philippians 3:17-20 calls us citizens of heaven. So, it doesn’t matter what end of the globe you belong to and where I come from, we can get past the “us” vs. “them” mentality and realize our God given appointment. We can move on from our thrill-seeking escapades and proceed towards a dynamic and authentic spirituality.
Mother Teresa said:
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
This movement is more than an experience. Whether physical or spiritual - experiences come and go. But wisdom stays with us and compels us to meaningful actions. The kingdom of God breaks the shackles of despondency, and this hope reflects in our daily decisions. What is that one personal decision you need to make that will reflect this hope in our world today? #MakeARipple