Photo credit: Ales Krivec
By Deacon Frederick Bartels
5 May, 2017
A man would have to be quite taken with himself to fail to notice things “aren’t quite right.” Sometimes, he can’t put his finger on precisely what is wrong, aside from the obvious effects of the carpet bombing of sin. Even if his life might be imbued with satisfying contentment, he notices there’s a persistent emptiness here, in this place, and that things are less than perfect. Contentment, like pleasure, all too soon evaporates.
It’s enough to drive some men to madness. To personal conquest and to evil pursuits.
There’s the relentless, often annoying feeling that a man must set sail to some other shore to obtain his desires. Lay course for the new horizon, then all will be well! But will it? On arrival at this new shore, after a long and arduous journey that has left a man with chapped hands, windburned face, and bloodied feet, he finds that the emptiness, the dissatisfaction, has not simply gone and returned again but has never left at all. There is no “new” shore. It’s the old, tiredly re-presented again and again. Things “aren’t quite right.”
Why is this so? The home man desires, although he adamantly insists on endlessly seeking it here, does not here exist. It is the cruel mirage of the world. The peace for which man cannot stop thirsting, although he nobly and rightly labor to attain it, is unachievable by any collective human power. What man unwaveringly craves and unceasingly continues to pursue, even though he may fail to notice or understand that he is doing so or why, is the perfect home, a place where every human desire is fully realized and fulfilled, not for merely a time but for eternity. Take notice: the man who has triumphantly found this home here and put up secure residence within it, has never lived, although millions have died trying.
What is a man to do? What place is he to seek to satiate the endless, burning desire within his empty heart? How can he find his way? How can he find his way?
That is the question. Until it is answered, peace will forever appear only on the distant horizon, evaporating should a man draw near. It will disguise itself, but never show its face. That perfect home, so long sought, will remain beyond a man’s reach, vacant of his own presence.