Last week I suggested that we all long for a deeper. I pointed out that the theme of waking up to a deeper, more meaningful life is found throughout the stories of our culture, and stories of people waking up to a deeper life captivate us because we long for their stories to be our stories.
Most of us, if we are honest, feel like our lives should be something more. We grow up thinking that when we are adults we will be satisfied. We think, “When I have a job of my own, move out of my parent’s house, or get married, then I will be happy.” But we meet our soul mate or get a great job and find that it doesn’t satisfy our deepest desires. “When I have kids,” we think, “then I’ll be satisfied.” But we start a family and realize we’re still not satisfied. So we wonder if we’ll be satisfied when we have grandkids or retire, but we retire and have a gaggle of grandkids and still no satisfaction.
You can plug a number of other expectations in there, but the problem is that these things, as great as they are, do not satisfy that sense that we were made for more. They may bring happiness, but in and of themselves they don’t satisfy the deepest longings of our souls. These expectations cannot and will not satisfy the core desire hardwired into our hearts.
We see the fruits of this condition all around us. We see it in the often-ridiculous pursuit of celebrity. We see it in the endless pursuit of money and possessions, pleasure, and success, or we struggle with addictions as we seek to satisfy the conscious or unconscious knowledge that we are not experiencing the life they were made for.
I wonder if on some level this longing is the reason the Harry Potter stories are so wildly popular. At the start of the story, Harry is an unfortunate orphan forced to live with an uncaring aunt and uncle. His bedroom is a closet under the stairs, and his cousin routinely ridicules him. The he discovers that his parents were members of a hidden society of wizards. As the story unravels, Harry discovers that he not only has a great legacy, but he is actually quite famous for defeating the story’s villain.
Every summer Harry must return to live with the same uncaring aunt and uncle, so that each book begins with a boy living in a dreary setting knowing that he is a part of a larger, deeper, more adventurous story. Does that have a familiar ring to you? Did J.K. Rowling do this to intentionally connect her readers to their sense of discontentment?
Why do so many of us identify with these stories? Is it possible that our unmet longings tap into the truth that we were actually made for more than what so many of us experience? At its core, this desire that flows so deep is a desire for the kingdom made real in our lives. This is why I say the blueprints of the kingdom life are written on our hearts.
If we were to trace our desires down to their most base level, we would find our deepest longings are for the lives we were created to live. Simply put, there is a life that you were created to live. I do not mean there is a script to which you either strictly adhere or else. This life is more concerned with the kind of people we are than the actions we take. If we are fully formed as the people we were created to be, our actions will come naturally.
I hope that you can start your day knowing that you are created by God. There is a specific person he created you to be and a unique life he created you to live. Your combination of personality, gifts, and passions is unique. There has never been another human being in the history of the world like you, and you were created this way for a purpose. I wonder what would happen if we decided today to embrace the person God created each of us to be.