What do we need in life? If actions prove our hearts, then I believe most who know me would assume I need little more than the temporal comforts and satisfaction of this world. However, this doesn’t change the fact that within me craves more. My heart beats ever more desperately for that which lasts. I desire, no, I need the eternal. But from where?

Nothing lasts. I think we can all agree there is nothing lasting or eternal about this earth or our existence upon it. So, from the get go I am at a bit of a loss. Like Solomon, I’ve searched and when I raised my head once more from my search, I continued my searching some more. Alas, I’m still here. Unfulfilled.

Left wanting. Despite my search, all I’ve found is greater desperation for that which I need. It turns out, the things to which I turned weren’t needs, but passing fancies. The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, none of them (drugs, lust, alcohol, etc.) were meant to fill the void I’ve become so painfully aware exists.

A pause. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hide the sharp objects or keep me away from any bridges. I’m on a train, so neither of those are remotely accessible. On a serious note, stick with me for just a second and you’ll see where this is going.

Enter Jesus. Right about the time I entered college, I finally encountered Jesus for the first real time in my life. It was an ugly encounter filled with distrust and pure rage. Only, it was returned with lovingkindness. I began to see a change in my life and there was a noticeable uptick in my life. I began to feel fuller. However, I was far from living a life “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

God works in simple ways. There was something missing, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on what it was. People. What was missing was that deep connection with someone or someones between whom there are no secrets or mistrust. There is no deception or emotional distance. This is where God really likes to do work. I wouldn’t say this unless I felt it tangibly within me that I wake up some days feeling different from the day before.

Be whole. God truly wants this for us, but it doesn’t magically manifest itself in our lives without work. The path to wholeness is marked with broken hearts and disappointment, but it is also not without its lion’s share of triumphs and joys. For all the heartbreak, the joy I’ve experienced has surpassed tenfold. Yes, it’s work, but it’s of the most joyous sort. Again, it cannot be done outside of relationship.

This is why I’ve not found it, because I was never willing to incur the valleys of heartache to reach the glorious plateaus of connection and understanding. I’ve been left wanting because of my own blindness. While God has been gently nudging me in the right direction, He wanted me to take the first step. That’s the double-edged sword of free will for you. I’ve taken it and it’s led me to a train in Europe with a friend to whom I’m inextricably tied. I won’t go into that story, but know there’s no turning back for me. What about you? Have you asked the question recently? What do we need in life?