Winter is a time to continue the search

Looking for something? It’s winter in upstate New York. Only we who live in this region or in others like ours understand that our interests go indoors. We work on projects, read, or do other indoor activities to stay active. Winter usually is the time of the year that our physical activity slows down and our thinking speeds up. Winter is a time to continue the search.

What is our search? In the late sixties and early seventies, there was a lot of talk about the highway. Many popular songs told about a search, which led a searcher here and there always seeking, always yearning, never finding. Lyrics such as “Back on the highway,” “On the road again,” and others like them were the songwriter’s way of talking about our search for meaning. Books such as “The Road Less-Travelled,” grappled with the allure of the journey. The romance of the highway called explorers to to satisfy their deepest longings. Each new stairway, highway, and byway promised a new adventure in life’s meaning. But they never seemed to offer a lasting and fully-satisfying solution.

Why do we search? Our searching souls wander hoping that someone, somewhere, somehow will show us how to satisfy our deepest longings. This is an old quest from the dawn of time. Long ago, Augustine of Hippo told us that we search all our lives until our soul finds its rest in God. Blaise Pascal described our yearnings as a God-shaped hole in each of us that only God can fill. Trouble is, all of our lives we try stuffing something, anything in that God-shaped hole to fill it. But it never fits. Never satisfies.

What is the only lasting solution? May I challenge you to talk to your soul, as does the psalm writer? By talking to his soul he is able to wrestle with satisfying his deepest longings. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

This winter, we can take some time to search. Read your Bible. Find a church that helps you understand the Bible and assists you in your search. God, in whom your soul finds its deepest satisfaction, welcomes your search.

The Rev. Dave Deuel preaches in area churches.

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